Christian Bale was not working the day of our set visit, so we did not get to see him decked out in his Batman gear. Bale was dressed very casual in a dark blue warm up suit when he sat down to visit with the members of the press. One thing struck me about Bale this time: Whatís with that touch of grey in his hair? Of course, we now know that RISES takes place 8 years after the events of THE DARK KNIGHT, so Bruce Wayneís getting a bit up there in age.
Iíve had the chance to chat with Christian several times over the years (I even rode an elevator with him once while out in LA!), and have had nothing but good experiences with him. Heís a cool guy -- and a very regular guy at that.
Iíve always got the vibe from Christian that he quite enjoys playing Batman and would play the character again and again as long as Warner Bros. kept hiring himÖand Chris Nolan was directing.
However, we know that THE DARK KNIGHT RISES is it for Chris Nolan and Batman on film -- well, when it comes to directing -- so Baleís third turn as The Batman is also his last.
Whatís it like shooting in IMAX?
CHRISTIAN BALE: I have had a little experience from [THE DARK KNIGHT] and when we made THE PRESTIGE, Chris [Nolan] was experimenting with it. Itís bloody noisy with those cameras but itís going to be a hell of a great little shot. It makes the audience feel like theyíre in it. Itís a lovely piece of machinery.
BOF: Was there ever any doubt in your mind to make another Batman film with Chris Nolan?
CB: I knew it was going to happen for me because I was contracted to do this film. I had no choice, I would have been sued up the ying-yang and be on the street and penniless. Chris has always talked about this being a trilogy and he liked the challenge that an awful lot of movies fail with the third one. There are some exceptions but most of the time thatís the tricky one to pull off.
BOF: Since this is the last ďNolanĒ Batman film and your last turn as Batman and Bruce Wayne. Are you going to miss playing this character?
CB: Course I will, yeah. Yeah definitely. Heís a very complex, interesting ďperson.Ē (laughs)
Will you miss wearing the suit?
CB: For all the discomfort and the heat and the sweat and the headaches and everything from it, when you sit back and watch the movie at the end of the day, you go: ďWell, thatís f*ckiní cool.Ē I will miss the rubber, yes! (laughs)
Can you talk about Bruceís relationship with Selena?
CB: Iím figuring it all out as I go along and Iím seeing Chris sitting on this shoulder here and Emma [Thomas] sitting on this shoulder here going: ďDonít say anything!Ē I think letís leave that one until you see the movie! (laughs)
You are making a trilogy with Chris Nolan -- as there is an end movie, does it leave you the freedom to create a good character arc in this movie?
CB: I have no clue what the audience is going to think about the movie. Thankfully I have Chris who is really great at gauging that. He represents the audience for us on the set. Me, I love the character so much that if it was left to me youíd get a very bizarre Batman movie. He is a fascinating character and then Chris just has to tell me the points when it gets tedious and boring. Chris is remarkably confident at going with his gut and not desiring any safety net. There are a number of times when I say to him: ďAre you sure you donít want me to do a few other variables?Ē I can do this one, and what if later down track you choose to change this part of the story, in that case we need to change the domino effect. Heís like: ďNo, no I know what I want.Ē Heís very firm with it. In honesty, there are probably a lot of stories that can be told with Batman. I like the idea of him growing older and he canít quite do it as much anymore. But I kind of feel, you have to leave when the going is good and this is when Chris wants to wrap it up. And itís the right time.
Is Batmanís drive still fed by the death of his parents?
CB: Itís all in there. He doesnít want to forget it. He wants to maintain that anger that he felt at that injustice, but equally he wants to present this very vacuous soulless persona to Gotham so hopefully no one will suspect him [being Batman]. They just think heís a spoiled rich bastard. But consequently, in his most intimate moments he has Alfred, he had Rachel, and there is not a whole lot there. At some point, heís got to start living. He is seriously behind in terms of life and enjoyment of life. Thatís all been sacrificed and at some point -- itís Alfredís wish -- that he will start to live again. Of course this tragedy has defined him, but to a degree heís sacrificed everything that most people would consider worth living for in life and heís going to have relearn that -- embarrassingly late in life.
Tell us about working with Tom Hardy
CB: Itís a real good cast. Iíve been working with Tom mostly over the past few weeks, heís a real fascinating actor. Heís going to be creating some wonderful characters over his career and heís doing so with [Bane]. Heís kind of just gleeful coming into work every day. Heís the real deal. Iím very impressed with him.
Can you talk about crafting fight scenes with Tom?
CB: We have fantastic stunt guys who have been with us since [BATMAN BEGINS]. This is sort of what we do. They kind of work out what theyíd like to see in the fights and Tom and myself come in and bring in the story to the fights, you have to figure a way to tell a story in a fight otherwise a fight by itself can be rather dull.