Christian Bale on Playing ‘The Dark Knight’: “It’s been a very important character… and the movies themselves have changed my life and changed my career”

The-Dark-Knight-ReturnsChristopher Nolan’s re-envisioning of the “Batman” universe has set the bar significantly higher for the way superhero films are made. Nolan’s desire to honor creator Bob Kane’s original vision, while adding poignant societal commentary, make the recent “Dark Knight” series beyond what could be considered ordinary big-budget entertainment. Nolan’s films are art wrapped up in an action film package.

Christian Bale, reprising his role as “Bruce Wayne/Batman” in the third and final installment, The Dark Knight Rises, recently chatted about how even the action scenes and batsuit were the antithesis of what could be considered “average” for an action film, Chris Eggertsen of Hit Fix reported.

Bale explained that even the new fight sequences expose a lot about Bruce’s character. “The thing I liked so much about the fight sequences with [Bane] is they’re never just knock-down fight sequences … you learn something more about each character throughout each fight, which is the mark of a good fight. …You learn about what Batman has had to go through from the beginning of the movie to the end in order to be able to defeat this man.” Bale goes on to say that the fight scenes also explain many aspects of “Bane,” Batman’s adversary, in the sequel. “…You’re learning about Bane as well, and the changes that have come over him. And that’s always essential in any fight. That’s what you’re looking for… We’ve seen so many people punching each other non-stop, who cares? You’re looking for ‘what are the changes? What are the weaknesses? What are the strengths of each character that are going to allow them to dominate one or the other?’”

Bale went on to explain that playing Batman was not always easy. For instance, the Batsuit, itself, was very difficult to fully embrace. “The first time I ever put on the cowl I thought, ‘Chris has to re-do the cast … because the claustrophobia was just unbelievable. I stood there and I thought, ‘I can’t breathe, I can’t think, this is too tight, this is squeezing my head, I’m gonna panic, I’m about to have a nervous breakdown, a panic attack right this second!’” Despite this, Bale decided to work through the anxiety. “I just stood there and I thought, ‘I’d really like to make this movie. I’d like to be able to get through this … so I just stood for 20 minutes by myself and then called everyone back in and said, ‘ok… just talk very calmly please, and maybe I can get through this.’” 

In contrast, when it finally came time to wrap the film, Bale had trouble letting go of the Batsuit. “We wrapped … and I realized this is it. I’m not going to be taking this cowl off again. So again, I said ‘can you please leave me alone for 20 minutes?’ and sat with that moment. It was the realization…of real pride of having achieved what we had set out to. It was a very important moment for me, it’s been a very important character… and the movies themselves have changed my life and changed my career. So I wanted to just appreciate that.”

Leave a Reply
William H. Macy: “This may sound pretentious, but I am getting better at what I do every day”
"I love the fact that I work every day." - William H. Macy
Luke Hemsworth on ‘Westworld’: “It was a no-brainer to me. I was absolutely going to jump onboard”
"As an actor, if you're given very little information about what's going on, then you're forced to make it up." - Luke Hemsworth
Khary Payton on His ‘Walking Dead’ Audition: “It was one of the more substantial auditions I’ve ever done”
"I always say I’m in the hope business. You’ve got to stay hopeful. You’ve got to get up off your behind and try again..." - Khary Payton
Hayley Atwell’s Best Career Advice: “I’d say the main thing is: show up. Show up and be professional”
Atwell reflects on her career and recounts why she wanted to become an actress since she was a child and what was the best career advice she ever received.
Mike Colter on Playing ‘Luke Cage’: “I was looking at it from the standpoint of an artist”
Colter says that it didn't take long for him to understand the importance of the character in comic book history.