Love him or loathe him, there’s no denying just how successful Christian Bale’s career has been. With Batman – The Dark Knight Rises currently in production we began to wonder… just how would Bale and his career stand up if bought to trial? So, ladies and gentlemen, we’re pleased to bring you our first Farm Trial, where nothing film related is safe from our scrutinising eyes…
Christian Bale, born in Wales in 1974, has starred in a plethora of movies, including Christopher Nolan’s Batmans, Terminator: Salvation, The Fighter, Public Enemies and American Psycho.
In 2008 Bale famously belittled a crew member on the set of Terminator: Salvation. After walking on set whilst Bale was filming the crew members felt Bale’s wrath as he shouted profanities at him. The rant, now infamous, gained extensive media attention and estranged Bale from many cinema goers with some feeling he had grown arrogant and held to high an opinion of his worth. Listen to the rant here:
As well as his fiery temper, some of Bale’s other characteristics can be held against him. His acting skills aren’t to everybody’s tastes and some people believe his roles are often samey showing an inherent laziness in the actor. His accent and the gruff voice he uses when playing Batman grate on many a cinema goer whilst many people don’t like his acting style.
He may not be to everyone’s taste but Bale’s Hollywood CV is undoubtedly impressive. Starring in Empire of the Sun when he was just 14 years-old, he would go on to appear in films of various genres, laying to rest the idea that his roles are ‘samey’. His style may be similar in the films he appears in, and he may have been typecast slightly after the success of the Batman films, but his Bateman in American Psycho is a completely different character than, say, his stint as Connor in the fourth Terminator film, playing crazed psychopath and heroic team leader respectively. The devotion he shows toward his roles is impressive, his weight yo-yoing from ultra-thin in The Machinist to his bulky figure in Batman back to super thin for his role in The Fighter.
We have little defence for the whole voice problem, but the gruff Batman voice adds to the character and helps set Batman and Bruce Wayne apart – if he didn’t attempt a different voice people would be more inclined to guess whos alter ego the caped crusader was, after all!
The rant is, no doubt, a huge bowl of contention. It is inexcusable to speak to any colleague the way Bale speaks to the crew member but, like fellow celebrity defenders Whoopi Goldberg and Darren Aronofsky state, the context from which the recording comes is unknown. Bale may have been tired, cranky, or simply annoying that his concentration had been broken once again.
It’s a tough one, especially with the existence of that recording. As his defenders have cited, many studios operate a system that insists on no movement whilst cameras are rolling and so Bale may have been at his wits end. The Jury’s out on the tape due to the fact the circumstances in which it was recorded can’t be substantiated. His commitment to the characters he plays, however, is impressive and may have played a part in his rant.
As for his acting style, he may stick to action roles but hey, so do the greats. He deals with his matter well and we’re sure Batman and alike would have suffered if his style was appalling enough for us to give him a guilty verdict. We personally think Bale has been tarred since his rant and his actual acting ability has been either overlooked or scrutinised rather too severely in light of it. We therefore choose to give him a warning – don’t shout at your colleagues again and you may just keep audiences on side in future.