Christian Bale is Awesome

Christian Bale is Awesome

This isn't really about the new Terminator movie, but it's about Christian Bale, so that's something. I want to give a warning in advance that the language in this post is 'for mature audiences only.' I don't pull any punches, and on this particular topic, I really cannot be expected to. You know, it's okay to get angry sometimes. And everyone has a moment where they explode over something small and, overall, inconsequential in light of greater events.This isn't really about the new Terminator movie, but it's about Christian Bale, so that's something. I want to give a warning in advance that the language in this post is 'for mature audiences only.' I don't pull any punches, and on this particular topic, I really cannot be expected to. You know, it's okay to get angry sometimes. And everyone has a moment where they explode over something small and, overall, inconsequential in light of greater events. I have two young boys, one still under a year, and they constantly challenge my ability to stay calm and focused because they do things that seem to me to be completely irrational. I have to constantly remind myself just how unable they are to make rational decisions. They are still trying to figure out the world around them. Of course, these are children, and so it's easy to forgive them because of their ignorance. Adults who do things that are frustratingly stupid are another beast altogether. Which brings me to Christian Bale's recent 'explosion' that's been in celebrity news and gossip columns lately. I would like to do what I don't think anyone else has done and say that Bale didn't really do anything wrong. Aside from overreacting (and while I will admit that he overreacted a little bit, I won't say he has to make an apology to anyone but the guy he was yelling at), he has done nothing to garner the public humiliation he received. But don't take my word for it. Let's examine the facts. From the recording of Bale's bit of shouting we know that the director of photography walked into the actor's line of sight while they were filming a scene. We also know from what Bale says that this isn't the first time that he has done this, indicating that he has probably already been told that individuals walking into a scene for no apparent reason are distracting and cause problems on multiple levels, the least of which is that 'Director of Photography' isn't a character in the fucking movie. The recording itself is without context, so we have no idea what kind of scene they were shooting, how long they had been working on the scene, how much sleep Bale had gotten the night before, how into his character he was, etc. Bale is known for taking roles very seriously, and one could assume that if he was filming a scene in which tensions are running high, that may run over into the interruption that was recorded and disseminated to the public. As a result of the lack of context, it’s pretty arrogant to assume that Bale was completely out of order. I can’t imagine how costly it is to film individual scenes (and no doubt it’s a little less expensive in today’s movie world in which, for the most part, expensive film has been replaced by a virtually “free” digital format, which is to say that you can record over and over again without losing any physical reels of film), but it’s probably not cheap. The director of photography indicates to Bale at one point during the argument that the scene was going very well when he interrupted it. And as Bale says, “Yeah, it was going well and you fucking ruined it.” Later, Bale says something to the effect of, “It’s obvious you don’t know how to work with actors.” Taken out of context, like the rest of this recording, this sounds condescending. However, when you consider what occurred to send Bale into a fit there is a much more likely explanation. As I said before, we don’t know how long Bale had been working to get into that scene, or how many times they had already filmed the scene. But the director of photography should know that it’s ultimately the actor’s responsibility to make a scene work. If they need space, you give them space. If they need the set as quiet and as still as humanly and physically possible while filming a scene, you give them what they want. I’m not saying that it’s right for anyone to walk all over anyone. What I am saying is that you give the employee what he or she needs to get the job done. We all saw the effects of his last character on Heath Ledger. Getting into character can be a tough deal, especially for someone who takes it as seriously as Bale obviously does. How do we know that Bale hadn’t worked all day at developing just the right look, just the right facial expressions, just the right attitude, to deliver his lines for that scene. And then the director of photography walked into the scene and stuck his ass right in Bale’s face. It would be wrong of me to overlook something that no one else in the media mentioned: Bale made every attempt he could, given how obviously angry he was, to make it explicitly clear that this was a professional problem. Twice he said, “You’re a nice guy,” and when he threatened to stop working on the film if the director of photography did something similar again, he said, “You and I are done professionally.” There was no, “You’ll never work in this town again, see” or “I hate you and want to kill all of your offspring,” this was straight-up “You need to learn how to do your fucking job, or you need to find another job.” Again, because we have absolutely no context for this recording, it’s really difficult for any listener to say whether or not Bale and this director were good friends or even passing acquaintances. The only thing that is clear is that the director of photography committed one of the most idiotic sins in the movie industry: he walked onto the set while they were filming. So let’s everybody just back up for a second because now I’m getting pissed off. Who cares if Bale got angry? “Well,” you say, “didn’t Christian Bale’s mother call the cops on him because of some outburst similar to this one?” All I can say to that is, “Mind your own fucking business!” For someone who has cameras stuck in his face on a relatively constant basis, even when he’s not getting paid for it, I say Bale exercises Jesus-like restraint every time he doesn’t shove a camera up some annoying little photographer’s ass. And to only get caught blowing up twice, I wish I could say that I’ve only gotten that angry twice in my adult life. He didn’t pull a Chris Brown, and he showed everyone that he was a bigger man when, instead of being outraged that some sneaky fucker snuck some kind of recording device onto the set of a major motion picture production, he publicly apologized and said that he deserved all of the ridicule he received. Well I’m with you Christian. Fuck that guy for walking into your sight line. Fuck him right on into the sunset.