Christian Bale Talks To EclipseMagazine.com’s Michelle Alexandria.

Christian Bale Talks To EclipseMagazine.comActor Christian Bale has had a long, strange career that has seen him take on many varied roles from a yuppie Psycho Killer to a tortured Caped Crusader, now he’s back as a downed American Pilot in the film Rescue Dawn. Bale Is one of those method actors who’ll do anything for a role, this time out he drops a lot of weight and looks positively emaciated, he eats bugs and more. I recently took part in a roundtable interview and we discussed the ordeal he went through to make this film. 

As a funny side note, his publicist told us that we couldn’t ask him about Batman or his weight loss. So the running joke during the day was trying to get information out of the other actors about the upcoming Dark Knight returns and his weight loss. When we finally got to Bale, he was actually really cool talking about what he could.

EM

When you see the script and you know it’s going to be hell, you are going to be out in the jungle, it’s going to be hot, humid, and a long tough shoot. What makes you go, “I got to do that?”

CB

[Laughs] Because I like going to hell and back, and I knew that Werner was going to be the guy to take us there. How many times in life do you get to do this crazy shit? I like testing myself.

EM

Steve said that you guys found a real new appreciation for bananas. Anything else you have a new found appreciation for?

CB

There was a local fruit that was fantastic. We would just sit there and rhapsodize about different fruit.

 

Christian Bale Talks to EclipseMagazine.com

 

EM

You talk about going to hell and back, do you take real life risks?

CB

Not to say that the film is real, but when you are swimming in a snake filled lake, you aren’t “acting” like you are swimming in snake infested lake, you are. It’s important to realize that you aren’t just pretending to wrestle with a snake, you are. So to me that is real life. It’s true that in any movie the acting part is fake but the physical aspects are real.

EM

That snake was real? Was there any Snake Wranglers around?

CB

[Laughs} The local kids were the wranglers. No, that snake wasn’t venomous but his fangs were real, I caught them in the shoulder a couple of times. These snakes were nothing to the local kids, they would see a snake chase it down, smash it in the head and cook it. Everyone would say it tastes like chicken. After I saw them do it, I just kind of ran in on them.

EM

Were the maggots real?

CB

Yeah those were real. [We were all sufficiently grossed out] I didn’t mind eating those my concern was where were they coming from.

EM

So when you come home on that day, does your wife make you brush your teeth a whole lot?

CB

[Laughs] Yeah.

EM

I’m just curious what you won’t do? There’s a stunt guy there, but it seems like you are going to do a lot of those things yourself.

CB

You put yourself in my position. You are in Thailand, you have these crazy ass chopper pilots who will do anything they tell you, we’re going to come in low over these rapids, drop a rope, you’ll have to jump at it and hold on while we pull you up in these winds, “You want to do that?” I say, fuck yeah! I’m not going to let anyone else do that.

 

Christian Bale Talks To EclipseMagazine.com

 

EM

So you don’t have limits?

CB

Well, I’ve been in films where people have been set on fire and jumped off a building. I ain’t doing that. So I’ve got limits. But I’ll tell you, working with the Thai Air Force was fantastic. These guys would take off and plow through a tree. [Laugh] They weren’t all about the safety codes. I doubt if I’ll ever get a chance to work like this again so I’m going to do everything that I can.

EM

Did your agent know you were doing all of these crazy stunts?

CB

[Laughs] Na, I don’t tell him. We don’t even tell the Producers most of the time, they aren’t on the set most of the time and don’t need to know. Insurance definitely doesn’t need to know.

EM

Your character is so naïve at the beginning of this film, even when he’s captured he seems surprised at how he is being treated. Besides the love of flying it doesn’t seem like he knows what he’s getting into. Do you know what his motivation was for going there?

CB

He’s unique to start with because he’s in Germany during the war and is bombed by Americans. He looks at his streets getting torn up and he says to himself that he wants to be that. That’s not a normal reaction to people who are destroying your home. He has this great romantic notion of what it means to be a US Citizen and Pilot. He was obsessed with the romanticism of it all. Remember this was his first mission, so he was still thankful for everything that America has given him. He’s also curious. He’s been tied up, beaten, but he looks around and [laughs] I wonder what they are cooking over there. He had the most bizarre outlook on life, he was so optimistic and even as he was being tortured he still looked at them as people.

EM

Can you talk a little bit about the process you go through building your character.

CB

I don’t really know what it is. You just sit back and take the time to let it sit with you a bit and do research. This time I had a lot of people that I could talk to. I don’t feel like I know more now than I did when I first started doing this and can’t tell you that I’ve developed a certain style or shortcut for it. I’m pretty happy that it works out this way.

EM

Where all the boat scenes in San Francisco?

CB

It was a mixture some of it was in Oakland and the opening was in the Gulf of Thailand.

Christian Bale Talks to EclipseMagazine.com

EM

Is Dieter’s family still alive?

CB

Yeah, his two brothers, his widow and some of his friends are still alive. They visited the set a couple of times and I got a chance to talk with them.

EM

Steve [Zahn] said that you were cracking him up on the set. What were you doing to him?

CB

He was cracking me up as well. Y’know, you are two guys going insane in rice paddy fields, your ass is hanging out because your clothes are ripped, you are going ecstatic over bananas, working with Werner Herzog, you don’t know if you’ll be able to get home because the crew has quit and there are no vans to get you back. There ain’t nothing to do but look at each other and crack up. Steve is a great guy to work with, you have to crack up it’s either that or strangle someone.

EM

You lost a lot of weight for this film and then had to put it back on for Batman. Is it healthy to keep ballooning up and down?

CB

No, I really didn’t lose a whole lot of weight this time. A lot of that was done by make-up.

EM

You seem to be somebody who always wants to do something new. How hard is it to go back and be Batman again?

CB

I’ve got Chris Nolan who I’ve worked with for the third time now. He’s not going to make the movie unless he can do something different with it which he’s achieved in spades. I’m actually starting to like the idea because this would be the first time I’ve reprised a role. I know it already, so it’s a little easier. We have a great cast as well, and Chris and I work really well together. It was untested before, but now we have all the support behind us to make a better film.

EM

As an actor, how important is it to have a major franchise character in your pocket that you can go back to that allows you to do things like this film?

CB

I’ve been doing a lot of films like this anyway, so not having the franchise wouldn’t make me say, “Now, I can’t make Rescue Dawn.” What it does allow though is that, Werner and me have been discussing Rescue Dawn for 2 1/2 years, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we got the financing pretty quick after Batman came out. So it does mean I can do these things in a much easier fashion versus a few years ago. American Psycho took two years just because they didn’t want me. So it certainly helps with that. It’s the only time in my life where I’ve been able to plan my future. Usually you only know what’s going on for two months if you are lucky, after that you have no idea. There was a period where I really needed to work and didn’t have anything for 1 1/2 years. Having a franchise means that you at least know what you are going to be doing next, if nothing else comes along you go “Ok, at least I have that, so everything is alright.” But that’s not even guaranteed because they could dump you in a second, but it’s a good bet.

EM

Can you talk a little bit about your training for The Dark Knight?

CB

There are new things that I have to train for, but now they know that I know my right from my left now. So there’s more confidence in my ability to pick things up quickly. We started awhile back.

EM

Batman is the best detective in the world, are we going to see that side of him in The Dark Knight?

CB

[Hesitates, and everyone laughs] Um, Well… So that’s clear enough. [Laughs]

EM

Can you talk a bit about working with Heath as the Joker?

CB

He’s been great. I like him as a person but he has a real craving for the role.

EM

Do you have anything coming up after Batman?

CB

I don’t know, I’m going to be working on Batman for the rest of the year.

Advertisements

No Responses to “Christian Bale Talks To EclipseMagazine.com’s Michelle Alexandria.”

  1. EclipseMagazine.com » Rescue Dawn DVD Contest! Says:

    […] Dawn is one of the year’s best films, don’t be surprised if Christian Bale doesn’t get some award nominations for his steller performance as Dieter Dengler, one of the […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: