Working With Bale: Guy Says Not Bad


by Irma Arkus

So, I almost feel a tinge guilty for posting that horrifying clip of Bale being a supreme bitch-queen of the universe. But then again I am into audio, so I hope it can be forgiven.

The thing that really irked me when listening to it, as some of you pointed out, is that people who are rewarded with such creative jobs, like acting, and happen to make millions of dollars a year, unlike other actors who are kissing boards of your local theatre, should not be human beings. Nope. They should be humble and saintly. Especially the talented ones we admire for their chops. Such as…Christian Bale.

The media, and I do mean those doofuses that invade your living room talking their heads off about some drunken celebrity scandal or another, are all over this. Which makes me wanna wash my hands off the entire thing. To make things worse, I found today, a really awesome, almost teary description of how Bale is “gifted to us full of vulnerability and undeniable honesty.”

Harry Knapp wrote of his experience working with Christian Bale on Werner Herzog’s set for Rescue Dawn. Rescue Dawn was one of those ‘crazy if you take it’ roles, that Bale seems to have a knack for. Unlike the rest of the celebrity acting brood, he seems to actually give a damn about the art of acting, hence his peculiar and bold choice of scripts. Lets face it, most of them attempt at being “uglified” for a film, picking up an Oscar, and then proceeding with their next Will Smith project, or some equivalent exercise in inanity.

Bale on the other hand, has indulged in great physical exercises of shapeshifting to bring drama, fear, and adventure to the screens. His superhuman efforts gave us American Psycho, Rescue Dawn, and The Machinist. For the entertainment purposes he gave us the best Batman we could have hoped for, and an entirely great magician in The Prestige.

This is why Knapp’s description of Bale arriving to studios in an old, scratched up 80’s truck, looking like the guy next door. Knapp tells of Bale doing the Rescue Dawn as he asks: “how many movie stars would lose 60 pounds, starve and shoot for 50 days in the hot sticky jungle in a hot flight suit and lounge in the dirt? He did.”

Knapp kind of Jesus-fies Bale throughout his tales of our hero: “with both bare feet literally…running through fields of thorns and never complaining for a moment.” And comments on his rigorous strength of will with his dieting, something most would have a hard time enduring: “during lunch while the rest of us were scarfing insane Thai food he was nibbling on watermelon and sipping diet coke.”

It gets even more messianic, when Knapp describes a “real torture scene” performed by actors, who had Bale up by a rope: “during one of the torture scenes our Thai soldiers tie Christian’s hands behind his back, tie his feet together, hang him upside down and spin him…while he’s covered with real ants! This was dangerous for several reasons but mostly if the actors lost control of the rope holding him up he would fall and break his neck. Anyway we did the scene several times spinning and spinning him…he was getting ill.”

Thats you admiring Christian Bale, barefoot, hungry and all.

I not only feel bad for him, but wish him many movies co-starring with someone like Clooney, who would never run barefoot and starve for weeks, and yet still seems like a nice guy. [OpenSalon]