Nestor Carbonell on 'Dark Knight' super secrecy

Actor Nestor Carbonell poses for a picture in New York, Monday, July 14, 2008. Carbonell saw "The Dark Knight Rises" a little before the general public did, but not by much.He finally screened the film — in which he reprises the role of Gotham City's mayor — at its world premiere in New York City on Monday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Seth Wenig

TORONTO - Actor Nestor Carbonell saw "The Dark Knight Rises" a little before the general public did, but not by much.

He finally screened the film — in which he reprises the role of Gotham City's mayor — at its world premiere in New York City on Monday.

And it was also just this week that he finally got his hands on the complete script, which had previously been kept under lock and key, leaving him in the dark about most of the film's plot.

But having played the mysterious Richard Alpert on "Lost," Carbonell was already used to working with incredibly secretive writers and directors.

"This is familiar territory for me," he says.

"With 'Lost,' we would get the scripts throughout the year but typically by the season finale, we would just get pages on a sort of need-to-know basis. And my character on 'Lost' was shrouded in so much mystery that I really was sort of out there on my own. But I was always guided emotionally by the director that week and the writers, so I always knew I was protected."

Similarly, on the set of "The Dark Knight Rises," Carbonell found himself delivering a speech in a scene without really knowing what his character was talking about, and had to rely on director Christopher Nolan for guidance.

"There were a number of things that I just sort of assumed were one way — until I stepped on the set and did a couple of takes. And then Chris came over and sort of said, 'The reason you're saying this is because of this and this,' and I said, 'OK, good to know," Carbonell recalls with a laugh.

"There were a number of things I didn't know the reasons why I was saying them, so I invented them. This is the kind of thing I would do on 'Lost.' And then Chris was there to correct me and we had a lot of fun with that. It was like, 'Thanks, now you tell me! We could solve all of this if you gave me the script!'"

But despite having to go into the film cold, Carbonell says he didn't hesitate when he got the call welcoming him back for the final instalment in Nolan's trilogy.

"It was a few months before the start of the shooting and I was just thrilled," he recalls, noting the film's all-star cast — including Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Liam Neeson, Marion Cotillard and Matthew Modine — made it an easy "yes." Even some of the film's smaller parts were snagged by familiar faces such as Desmond Harrington ("Dexter"), Daniel Sunjata ("Rescue Me") and Juno Temple ("Dirty Girl").

"It was kind of like camp because we'd all bump into each other in the cafeteria and it was a hysterical scene — 'Oh, there's Michael Caine, there's Morgan Freeman!' It was just a lot of fun."

Having finally seen the movie, Carbonell says he was wowed, just as he knew he would be.

"I was as excited as anybody to see this film because I had no idea what was in store — and I was blown away."