Christian Bale Gives a Very Odd Interview

When I got last month's Esquire magazine, the first thing I read was an interview with Christian Bale, who's also featured on the cover.  Very quickly, it became apparent that it was one of the most strange interviews I've ever read.  For one thing, the reporter, John H. Richardson, wasn't allowed to write the piece in any other form than Question and Answer.  There was to be no speculation, only direct transcription.  What followed was an adventure in skirting the issue and contradiction that was absolutely fascinating. 

Just to keep this comic booky, here's what Bale had to say about taking on the role of Batman, which really seems at odds with his entire ethos, otherwise:

All I knew was that there was a whole lot more there that I'd never seen and there was some extreme in the interpretation that should be taken. So I just said, "I just gotta hope that they're gonna go with that, and if they don't, that's not the version I'd like to be involved with anyway." And it's that perverse thing in life, where when you're able to achieve a certain recklessness, you actually end up getting good results. You have to throw everything aside and say, "What the hell, I'm gonna do it this way, and if they don't like it, I wanna do it anyway." It avoids that anxiety of "How do I manipulate this and fake it so that people believe me?" That's never gonna work. So that's the kind of abandonment you gotta have.

They didn't talk about the voice. And they didn't talk about the still wonderful flip out on the set of Terminator: Salvation.

The interview was ostensibly about The Fighter, but Bale is still on track to appear as Bruce Wayne in The Dark Knight Rises.  Fingers are still crossed over here for Reign of Fire 2: The New Flames.


  1. But were there any questions about “Newsies”?

  2. (On a more serious note, I completely dig his thoughts on Batman, just from the standpoint of appreciating an artist who is unafraid to do things the way he wants them done.)

  3. He wouldn’t talk about Newsies. It came up.

  4. Matthew McConaughey stole the film in Reign of Fire. That look was kick-ass.

  5. i am hoping for a rebirth of bane in dark night rises 


  7. Someone get Matthew McConaughey as a villian in Dark Knight Rises.

  8. He actually comes across as very normal, I thought. More normal than most celebrities, anyway, and certainly not what you would expect after the Terminator blow-up. (I love that blow up. It’s even better when combined with Family Guy.)

  9. @Jesse1125  HAHA

  10. i cant wait to find out who the cvillian will be and i agree i hope bane comes back. but i also had a thought on poison ivy also. i do like cat woman but i just couldnt stand to see someone else as her except halle berry i loved that movie! i also like christian bale in ring of fire. although it has been a while since i watched it i still think there was much to be desired in the movie. i would have liked to see more fight sequences but then i remind myself batman the movie is not. i will have to see it in theaters because we now have no movie stores. i would like it on the big screen anyway, and i think 3d does diminish the picture quality alot. i am satisfyed with imax.

  11. Try reading an interview with Santana if you want a guy who can’t answer a question without completely leaving the subject.

  12. Bald Matthew McConaughhey from Reign of Fire as Hugo Strange!

  13. Has he been notoriously screwed over by an interviewer in some article I’ve never seen? Why so serious?

  14. does anyone else feel that dark knight rises is a kind of lazy title?

  15. Yes. “Dark Knight Hits Snooze,” that’s a lazy title.

  16. Ahh, that Terminator meltdown always brings a smile to my face.

    Seriously though, when are we getting Reign of Fire 2?!

  17. He looks like a young Tom Selleck in that photo.

  18. i think we ran outta crack.

  19. @MisterShaw  I find it odd that people believe that “blow up” wasn’t manufactured.
    I mean besides being conveniently recorded, the fact that the aussie ranted the entire time with an american accent, didn’t make people stop for a second and go hmmm?

  20. The Terminator: Salvation thing has been discussed to death. If you really want to know about it, download the Kevin & Bean podcast from KROQ around the time it occured. Bale called the show and basically said he got frustrated and behaved badly. (“I acted like a punk,” is a direct quote).

    What is unfortunate is that apparently Dark Knight Rises is going to be the last Nolan/Bale Batman movie.

  21. @syngar98  I don’t care whether it was or not, though I don’t think it was fake. (And he wasn’t ranting in an American accent, he was ranting in his Acting Voice.) What’s important is that it’s entertaining.

  22. @syngar98: He’s not Australian. He’s English. Welsh to be more specific.

    @Jimski: I don’t think he’s ever been “screwed over” by an interviewer. He just seriously loathes this part of the business. And, obviously, he’s not very good at it. He usually shines brighter in interviews that span a few days, after he gets more comfortable with the journalist. He also likes to make up facts (lies really) about his life to prevent people from finding out anything significant about his past. He’s said many times that the more of a celebrity you are, the less of an actor you are. In other words, he’s pretty hardcore. And a little crazy.

  23. @WheelHands  Meh. Same Difference.

  24. @MisterShaw  It’s not really entertaining. If it WAS real, the man is allowed to rant just like the rest of us. If you blow up, it wouldn;t be funny.
    But then I don’t subscribe to the notion that excess expressions of emotion are neccesarily to be ridiculed.

  25. @WheelHands: Welsh isn’t “more specific”, it’s a completely different country from England. Not that I blame you for the error, Wales is ridiculously small 🙂

  26. @RapidEyeMovement: My bad. I have a terrible tendency to lump the UK together. But how bout you scold syngar98. He seems to think that Australia and Wales are the “same difference”.

  27. The growl-voice was explained in the Batman Begins extra features.  I think it works well in very short 1 or 2 word exclamations.  It begins to sound strange or funny to some when he has to speak longer sentences like he did in The Dark Knight.  I for one like it, but I can see where/why he gets crap for it..

  28. @ Wheelhands: Its acceptable to lump the UK together as long as you call it the UK, or Britain, not England.

    @Syngar98: It is most definitely not the same difference. If you want to go down that road you could say the same about Britain and the US, that used to be a colony to; and the accent is about as similar to the English accent as the Australian is.

    I’m totally on board with the growl. Yes it sounds odd, but it works within the logic or a “realistic” superhero film.

  29. @ iemcwriss. I’m sure it’s a typo but Civillain sounds like an awesome name for a badguy, maybe in Kirkman’s world or something.

  30. @Matrix  i just read my comment over again and yes it was a typo. haha but i really cant wait to see who the villian is. i know you cant either

  31. @har13quin  obviously I am being flippant, it’s not something that should have been used to derail the topic.

  32.  @har13quin And if you want to be accurate comparing aussie to welshy is fa rmore reasonable than comparing british to american as far as accents go. But i understand for the sake of drama you;d pretend otherwise.

  33. He didn’t say fuck a hundred times? Not my cup of tea then. #burn