- "You see sometimes I'm good. Ooh I'm very good. Sometimes I'm bad, but only as bad as I want to be."
- ―Catwoman (Halle Berry)[src]
Patience Phillips is a fictional character in the 2004 adaptation of Catwoman. Living by herself, Patience is a woman who works in the art department for a beauty product agency which produces beauty products such as a skin care cream. As Catwoman, Patience dresses in black leather - a bustier bra and pants with a cat mask, and gloves with claws. Catwoman uses her iconic whip in combat, but also shows her expert hand-to-hand combat and agility.
This version of Catwoman differs from the traditional forms of Catwoman. Instead of being portrayed as Selina Kyle, an expert gymnast and hand-to-hand combatant, she is portrayed as a woman with super-human abilities and actually acts like a cat. More importantly, she is shown living in an unknown city (most likely New York) rather than the traditional and iconic Gotham City.
Patience's boss, George Hedare invites her into his office, where he tells her he isn't pleased with her recent work. He demands she re-do it, and she stays late at work that night to do so. The mail department informs her that nobody is there to deliver the work to George, so unfortunately she must deliver it herself. Whilst delivering the new design to her boss, Patience overhears a plot to sell the beauty product, despite it being defective. When the skin cream is used over a long time, it keeps the skin looking healthy and youthful. However, if the user stops using it, his/her face will start to deteriorate and become seriously damaged. She accidentally knocks a piece of equipment on a desk and she is spotted. In her attempt to flee, she runs into a set of water conduits. Laurel Hedare orders her security to flush the pipes, knowing full well Patience is in there. The pipes are flooded by water and Patience is knocked into the surrounding water, where she eventually drowns and dies.
After being murdered, her body washed up on the banks of the city. Midnight - the cat that had been following Patience over the last few days - starts to call for other cats, to which they eventually arrive. Midnight climbs on top of Patience and breathes a strange mist over her face, where she suddenly awakes, reborn as Catwoman.
Midnight is actually a temple cat - a messenger of the Egyptian goddess Bastet. She is an Egyptian Mau and is sacred to several feline deities, such as Sekhmet and Madfet. Midnight had been testing Patience to see if she is worthy - and in need of - receiving the gift she can give; the gift of a new life, the life of a Catwoman. When Patience wakes up, she has been transformed into Catwoman, a warrior with the force of a cat, who prowls the night in search of justice. At first she spends most of her journey trying to figure out who killed her and the reason why. She believes that George Hedare is the one who flushed the pipes, and pursues him to a ballet show. There, she is discovered by police, where she escapes and is confronted by her love-interest, Officer Tom Lone. Eventually, she discovers the truth about Laurel Hedare, and that she was the one who ordered the pipes to be flushed.
Laurel Hedare kills her husband (after finding out Catwoman knows the truth about the skin product) and frames Catwoman, where her love-interest figures out that Patience is Catwoman and is consequently arrested. She eventually escapes and confronts Laurel, where a vicious fight ensues which results in Laurel falling to her death.
Patience and Catwoman are cleared of all charges, and Patience continues to stalk the night with her persona as an anti-heroine.
Primarily, Patience is an extremely quiet, shy and timid woman. She had zero confidence in herself and had always been a people pleaser. However, upon her transformation to Catwoman, her personality changes completely. She gains total confidence - a polar opposite of her former self. She looks like the same person, but deep down, is completely different. As Catwoman, she wears a black bustier bra that reveals her midriff with black leather pants. She also wears black leather gloves, with built in diamond claws she designed herself using parts of a necklace she stole from a jewelery store.
The movie ends with her stating she is neither good or bad; she's in between, which gives her an anti-heroine personality.
- Patience: [voiceover] It all started on the day that I died. If there had been an obituary, it would have described the unremarkable life of an unremarkable woman, survived by no one. But there was no obituary, because the day that I died was also the day I started to live. But that comes later. This was my life. Days blended together, consistently ordinary, thanks to a job that was the practical version of my passion. I was supposed to be an artist by now. Instead, I was designing ads for beauty cream.
- "What a Purr-fect Idea." (Catwoman confronting three burglars)
- The Catwomen were also meant to teach a life lesson to all humanity: There is no pure good or evil. There is no black or white. We are all grey beings. This is shown when she stops three men when they rob a jewellery store but then robs it herself in the middle of the film.
- Patience's story is similar to that of the Catwoman from Batman Returns; both were killed by their bosses after discovering illegal business of their companies, both were brought back to life by cats and both wanted revenge on their bosses for killing them.
- This Catwoman is a different version from the original DC Comics character.
- Instead of being like the original version, this one is just one of many over the ages.