So, our friend Christian Bale has been in the news lately for being arrested for some sort of assault of his mother and sister. It might have been verbal, it might have been physical, they might be crazy bitches who deserve it, etc. Whatever the details are, it seemed pretty out of the blue.
I interviewed Christian Bale about a year ago for Rescue Dawn, the Werner Herzog movie in which he played a real-life Vietnam vet who was imprisoned in and escaped from a Laotian prison after he was captured when his plane shot down. The movie was terrific, and Bale was ridiculously amazing as usual.
At the junket however, he was less than delightful. So much so that he is usually my 'go-to' reference when people ask who was the biggest jerk to me. Obviously, I was excited to get to interview him. He's tremendously talented, loved the movie, everyone loves him, blah blah blah.
I had an on-camera interview with him for this one. First, he is totally grubbed out, wearing shitty jeans, dirty sneakers, and a black T shirt that looks like it was taken from the bottom of the laundry pile. However, his hair is slicked back a little and the shirt *is* black, so it probably looks okay on camera. Anyhow, this seems odd since most people doll up for this sort of thing--especially since Rescue Dawn was a little movie that could have used some good press.
I sit down in the chair, and while the camera guys are mic-ing me up and getting the tapes set, I'm just making small talk.
Me: Hi. How are you? Having a long morning in here? You know, you guys shot some of Batman Begins up by my husband's office just north of Chicago.
Him: No, I didn't.
Me: Um, well, he said there were Batman sets up there for a while and shooting. He and his coworkers were really excited about it.
Him: (blank, angry stare) ...
Me: (to camera man) Are we ready? (nervous giggle)
Now given, it is possible that they were doing some principal photography up there, stuff that might not have involved him. However, a nice human would have said something like, 'Oh, huh, maybe that was principal photography,' instead of looking at me like I was a fucking idiot/asshole/maniac who was obviously lying/trying to somehow elicit secret information from him.
Then they start rolling, we lean back in our chairs, smile, pretend he wasn't giving me a death glare. I ask him a couple of questions about the movie, to which he gives good, happy responses. Then I ask him a couple more, like asking him the 'weight loss' question (he lost a TON for The Machinist, then bulked up for Batman Begins, then he and his castmates all quite obviously lost a ton for this movie in which he was playing a food-deprived, dirty, tortured POWs). He at this point denies having lost any weight for the movie, which is obviously a lie; he and his castmates all looked like end-stage Holocaust victims. Then he devolves into giving me one word answers. Awesome. We wound up not even being able to use the interview.
I will say in his defense that prior to our interview, he was on his cell phone taking what appeared to be some sort of a stressful call in the hallway. And word was, as I recall, that it was around lunch time and he just wanted to break and, you know, eat. Which is totally reasonable. And that he was a dick to everyone and not just me. And, that a couple of months later at the 3:10 to Yuma junket, he was lovely and affable to everyone.
All that said, he was still a raving douchebag. And in contrast, his costars Steve Zahn and Jeremy Davies and director Werner Herzog were all absolutely delightful when I interviewed them. I told Zahn that I was obsessed with Reality Bites in college and told him I still had the video tape of it, and he started calling me a dork, telling me he was up against Noah Wyle for that part and that Janeane Garofalo was up against Parker Posey for hers, joked around with me on camera, etc. Jeremy Davies stood up to shake my hand and was just absolutely lovely all around.
So, while I don't know what crawled up Bale's ass and died -- either that day or the day or this past weekend -- I can say I don't envy anyone who is around him when it does. The frosty look was more than enough for me.
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