Christian Bale Poster

Quotes (65)

  • [interview in Spin magazine, March 1996] An actor should never be larger than the film he's in.
  • [on dealing with the resulting media attention of Empire of the Sun (1987) at age 13] It was horrific. I was almost crying in interviews and running away during press conferences, pretending I was going to the bathroom and just disappearing.
  • [on the sudden fame that resulted after Empire of the Sun (1987)] I enjoyed making the film, but I was shocked when I received all the attention when I got home to Bournemouth. Girls were all over me, boys wanted to fight me, and I was being asked to open local fêtes when all I wanted to do was ride my BMX bike in the woods. I told my parents I wasn't interested in doing anything again because the attention ruined it.
  • I don't want to know about the lives of other actors and I don't want people to know too much about me. If we don't know about the private lives of other actors, that leaves us as clean slates when it comes to playing characters. That's the point, they can create these other characters and I can believe them. I think if you're a good enough actor, that's the way to longevity in the film business. Keep everybody guessing.
  • I started my career without fans.
  • [on his 63-pound weight loss for The Machinist (2004)] I had a stupid kind of feeling of invincibility, like, "I can do it, I can manage it." I really did feel like I hit this point of enlightenment.
  • I always like that. Whenever there's a project where everyone's going, "Oooooh, it's a bit dodgy", I always like it. If you actually look at it, there tends not to be anything risky at all. Why did I start acting in the first place? I didn't do it to be mediocre or to please everybody all the time.
  • I'd love to remain a secret and still work, but I also want people to see the movies I'm in and get a higher profile because of that. I like to think that as long as you continue choosing diverse roles, you can avoid becoming predictable.
  • It's the actors who are prepared to make fools of themselves who are usually the ones who come to mean something to the audience.
  • [on his transformation into Patrick Bateman for American Psycho (2000)] The character is so vain and obsessed with his looks. While the psychology of the character was something that I could perform, you can't fake the physicality. Being English, I tend to enjoy going down to the pub far more than going to the gym, so it was very unnatural for me. I just had to convince myself that I loved it, which was the most difficult thing about playing this part. Working out is incredibly boring. I swear it's true that the bigger your muscles get, the fewer brain cells you have. I found I had to stop thinking when I was in the gym because if I thought about it, I'd realize how ridiculous it was that I was pumping iron when I could've been out having a drink and a cigarette and enjoying some lunch. I did three hours a day for six weeks with a personal trainer and some time before that. I ate an awful lot during training and then almost nothing during filming.
  • The only thing that I'm obsessed with is sleeping and, actually, it is more than an obsession, it is a pleasure. I love sleeping so much that I could do it 12 hours a day if I didn't have to turn on the alarm clock... and still, sometimes...
  • Our Batman [Batman Begins (2005)] is centered on the early days. It's an explanation. It's certainly not Batman No. 5. It's a reinvention. We want you to forget there has ever been a Batman before this one.
  • [on Batman Begins (2005)] I've never felt like the Batman character in the films was given as much time as any of the villains. The villains were always the most interesting characters, too. Batman has always been this very bizarre, almost blind character running through the middle of the story. Our film is different.
  • [on Batman Begins (2005)] I contacted them. I heard they were doing some low-budget Batman not aimed at kids and I was tantalized. I had appreciated the Batman movies, but I wasn't really a fan and I didn't know the TV series. But I read some of the graphic novels, and they were very dark and very interesting.
  • I spent about three weeks in Chicago last July doing night shoots [for Batman Begins (2005)]. It's a great city, but the humidity was tough under the Batsuit. Uh, it got a little bad. It's hot enough in the Batsuit, let alone in the Chicago heat.
  • I needed money because I had just bought a house, but I just kept saying, "I really can't do another movie that I know is not going to turn out the way I want it to, and that I have to make a lot of concessions in my head for.".
  • For me, there's a bigger risk trying [Batman Begins (2005)]. Ultimately, the big point was that [Christopher Nolan], who you would not expect to be doing that kind of movie, was going to direct it, which is exactly what I was looking for, because you want to do something totally different from the other Batman movies. I always thought there could be a really good movie made about Batman and when I heard that Chris was doing it I thought, "Well, he's not a director that you would expect, therefore you're going to get the unexpected from him." I think there's a great potential for going very dark with it, it's a fascinating character, very complex psychologically, which I've never seen done. You know, you have the two extremes, which are both very good. You can either go the very camp Adam West TV series thing [Batman (1966)], which was great in its own way, or you can go more the way of the graphic Dark Knight novels which delve somewhat deeper.
  • I had spent weeks staring at the wall in my house out of depression because of things that had gone wrong and the choices I had made. When I read The Machinist (2004), I just went, "Wow! This is perfect." I was having dreams about the character and I couldn't stop thinking about it. I felt like this one was going to save my arse, and pull me out of the depressed state I had got into.
  • I did other things, but my heart was never in it. A lot of actors say that theater's the thing for them. And that's great, and I'm not one to speak with any authority about it because of not having done it properly. For me, movies are what I love.
  • At first, I was somewhat hesitant to do the role [Batman Begins (2005)]. I mean, after all, Batman is an icon. But I remember, as clear as day, being at the grocery store the day the movie opened, and this little boy saw me. He couldn't have been more than five years old. He just walked right up to me and hugged me. He hugged me, and I was so moved by it that I hugged him back. Then he looked up at me and said, "You're my hero." And in that moment, I knew that not only as an actor that I had done my job, but that I had made the right decision to play Batman. And I've never looked back on my the decision to play Batman since.
  • [on playing Batman] You couldn't pull it off unless you became a beast inside that suit.
  • I only sound intelligent when there's a good scriptwriter around.
  • I'm English. Our dentistry is not world famous. But I made sure I got moldings of my old teeth beforehand because I miss them.
  • I don't think I'm like any of the characters I've played. They're all really far from who I am.
  • You can't help but find that violence is endlessly fascinating -- and I mean true violence, not action-movie violence, just because it is used as the answer to so many problems. We're all taught as kids not to be violent, but you can't help but also see that violence is what works very often. Bullies thrive.
  • I think there's a kind of pretentiousness to the idea that serious work is only found in low-budget independent movies -- I can't stand that snobbery.
  • I like being kept in the dark myself. You know, like mushrooms: Keep 'em in the dark and feed 'em shit. See, I think that's an enjoyable vegetable to be.
  • At the time that [Christopher Nolan] asked me to do it [Batman Begins (2005)], I actually couldn't do one push-up. They sent me to a trainer, who was having to hold my T-shirt at the back just to pull me up. I've come a long way from that.
  • [on filming Batman films during the summer] I'm not really looking forward to wearing a black rubber suit in the summertime in humid Chicago. If you see a pool of sweat through the city, follow it and you will find me.
  • [on director Christopher Nolan's method for filming Batman Begins (2005)] We tend to shoot at night like some kind of covert operation. So, we have minimal people actually seeing me in that way.
  • [on being asked if he knew how big a flop Newsies (1992) was] You say something bad about Newsies and you have an awful lot of people to answer to.
  • [on the character of Batman] He's a messed-up individual, as well. He's got all sorts of issues. He's just as twisted and messed-up as the villains he's fighting, and that's part of the beauty of the whole story.
  • [on his career] I've been able to work on movies that I like very much in the past few years, which I think have turned out how I had hoped that they would. And, I'm human, you know; that makes me feel good. I like it when people like what I do. I don't like it when people are laughing at me for what I do, you know? I mean, I'd love to say I was completely impervious to anybody's opinion, but that just ain't the truth. Of course, it matters. At the same time, there's also a danger when you start playing it too safe. After all, what am I paid to do? I'm paid to essentially make an ass out of myself, if needed. And occasionally, in doing that, you're going to fall flat on your face. But, I have learned, through doing that numerous times in my life, that there's also a ton of enjoyment to what other people see as humiliation. You can actually come to sort of thrive on that, because in a way, it kind of leads to a sort of fearlessness, if you genuinely don't mind. If the point is that you tried, I think that really is the most important thing. And, like you said, I feel like I've been very fortunate in the last couple of years that I've gotten to do what I loved, which is actually the making of movies, and on top of that, if I've liked how the movies have turned out themselves, then that's fantastic. But, to start getting too comfortable within that would be eventually to start churning out boring, boring chaff. (2007)
  • I'm accustomed to not having any map for my life. I'd be reaching for an Uzi if I knew what was going to happen every day. If anybody tells me I shouldn't jump, of course all I want to do is jump and show it can be done.
  • Life is not stable. There is a great strength that comes from not being shocked or scared by upheavals.
  • I don't think I was particularly in need of superheroes. I never had any fascination with Superman or Spider-Man or a Batman kind of character. If it happened at all, it was imagined characters that I had invented. My dad was a role model for me. He was a fascinating man. There was intrigue and entertainment growing up with him. He gave me an edict that I still pursue: "Life should never be boring".
  • [on meeting Arnold Schwarzenegger in a car park] He's got bodyguards and they were all shouting at me and I was going, 'Hold on, hold on, I've met him before!' but they were getting very worried as I walked toward him. But we chatted a bit. He had questions about Terminator Salvation (2009), he didn't know the script at all but I hear apparently he's now seen the movie... I'll wait to hear what his reaction is...
  • Variety is essential for me. I love watching a Michael Mann movie. I love watching a Christopher Nolan movie. Just to talk about my stuff, I enjoy a The Machinist (2004) kind of movie, a Rescue Dawn (2006), a 3:10 to Yuma (2007), an American Psycho (2000), whatever. But I also love watching The Terminator (1984) movies, I love watching the Batman (1989) movies...
  • Public Enemies (2009) is very timely. The Depression had people resenting the fat cats, the banks and so you've got someone like Dillinger being a hero because he was making a difference - he was getting it back for himself and so many people looked at him and romanticised that.
  • You look back at the history of the Oscars - some of the best movies never got sh*t.
  • [on Heath Ledger's Oscar win for The Dark Knight (2008)] Heath winning Best Supporting Actor was fantastic. I had dinner with his family a couple of nights before the awards and liked very much they were the people who were picking it up for him. Of course I was really delighted that it did go that way.
  • I'm actually someone that's very anti the whole B-Rolls, DVD extras and stuff like that. I understand people are interested, I get that they want to hear about it, but to me I look at it as old school movie magic and with magic you do not reveal your secrets.
  • [The Terminator (1984)] is the original nightmare of just being pursued that everyone has, by somebody who just will not stop, never stops, doesn't give up. And when you've got someone who looked like Arnold Schwarzenegger coming after you it made a big difference.
  • [on avoiding media coverage of Heath Ledger's death] I paid no attention to it. I knew him, I knew the family and why the hell would I sit there listening to idiots who don't know anything at all? I literally didn't read anything, didn't watch anything (after he died). If I happened to be watching anything that came on, I switched over straight away. It's incredible the way the voyeuristic outlook is accepted as news.
  • [on The Dark Knight (2008)] Many times, I'll work with actors and I can tell they're thinking: "What are you doing? Why are you going that far with it?" or "You're nuts!". With [Heath Ledger], I could feel him going: "I love it!".
  • [on his infamous onset rant on Terminator Salvation (2009)] I don't feel like I have to explain, "Well, I'm not really like this. I'm a wonderful guy and I have a lovely smile and how can you not like me?".
  • [on his infamous onset rant on Terminator Salvation (2009)] It wouldn't have happened if we hadn't been playing that scene, for Christ's sake, between John Connor and his wife, which is probably the most intense one in the movie. I'd definitely say that that guy who was yelling was at least half John Connor, and the rest was Christian Bale.
  • Look, I hate to throw people under the bus for making movies I don't think are very good. But for Terminator Salvation (2009) to be considered with any legitimacy, you have to throw number three [Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)] under the bus. It began to spoof the whole thing. To me, that was a sign that the franchise was dead, the mythology was finished.
  • [on Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)] I really liked the second one. It had as much to do with the electric atmosphere in the theater when I saw it at 17, when I was first getting out to the States, and I'd never been in a movie theater that had that much noise and excitement throughout the entire movie.
  • [on starting a new trilogy with Terminator Salvation (2009)] I hope that it will be a really fun, great movie trilogy if this one takes off and that we get to do a second or third, with me or not, whatever the scenario is. I think there is actually - in the hands of the right people - a real revival for this and an extension to an already good mythology.
  • I was up in Toronto and went to see that movie La vita è bella (1997). By myself. And when I came out, I had a craving for blood unlike anything I had ever experienced since I decided to go vegetarian at the age of 7. It was a compulsion. It was undeniable. I went to several restaurants, one right after the other, and got the biggest, bloodiest steaks I could get my hands on. It was the first time I had tasted flesh in almost twenty years.
  • I've never felt Welsh. I was just born there and I don't remember it. In terms of growing up, it was completely English.
  • I wouldn't want someone making a film of my life. I'd be on set every day saying they're telling it wrong.
  • [on portraying Bruce Wayne as a jerk] That's always his cover. It's something that has to be there to make people never suspect that he's someone that would ever have the desire or belief, the passion or intelligence, the capability to be Batman. He has to be this kind of ridiculous cliché of a playboy.
  • I have very strong opinions about why kids should not be working at such a young age. I think introducing children to a professional industry where they may not recognize the pressure is wrong. Very quickly they're going to be under pressure. This is an adult industry. I would be very skeptical putting anybody I cared about, who was close to me, in this profession at a young age. I absolutely support it as a hobby and as an amateur pursuit, but to enter into it in a professional way is a whole different ball game.
  • To be honest, it was only a couple of years ago that I finally decided to stick at acting. Before that, I used to think, "I don't want to do this any more - I want to quit. I hate it." It's such a silly job. Some days I'd think I should be doing something much more important than this. I'd like to say acting is a meaningful and difficult job but it's actually damn easy and pretty pointless. Sometimes I love it but other days I think, "This sucks.".
  • [on David O. Russell's recent work] I think the thing that resonates so much for me with what David has been telling stories about recently is just the fact that the things that feel like disasters in your life, don't turn out to be disasters. That life throws you many curve balls. The things that seem like gifts, can turn out to be disastrous. And never to be surprised at how surprised you can be at life. [2014]
  • [on his character's epic comb-over in American Hustle (2013)] For me it was so unexpected to see this con artist having such an unconvincing con on his head. And that he was so brilliant at what he did but so terrible at what he did on top of his head. There was a great juxtaposition in it. It became a very vital thing to add to it. And very charming as well. Generally, people think of con men being very slick and maybe vain and certainly very smooth operators. We didn't want to make Irv that.
  • [on how David O. Russell likes to hide places on set] One of the funniest things for me on set [of American Hustle (2013)] was watching where David was going to hide. He always likes to be very close to the actors. He likes to be able to feel the atmosphere of the scene. So literally he'd be trying to hide under our chairs and the DP would be "No David, I see you there." And then he'd be jumping over a table somewhere and finding a spot where he could be very close and get a sense of being right there with us.
  • I walk under ladders, I do all that stuff. I do it on purpose. I like provoking superstitions.
  • [on Terrence Malick] Terry has a thing where he loves it when you are not trying to please him, which is very different from most directors. Most directors want you to please them. And they've got a definite goal, which is not really always egotistical. The nature of having a script is that you have points and scenes where you have to take the audience to a certain place by the end of it. So there's always a goal there. With The New World (2005), there was a script. But, he abandoned it most of the time. He would never have the scenes be in the same place or a repetition of them. There would never be a request of, 'Can you change that a little bit and then we've got it.' It would be, 'OK, let's discover something new about it. But what (working with Malick) means as an actor is that you are not trying so hard. You just sort of see what happens. If it comes naturally, you do it. If it doesn't, you don't. That's what he loves. With this one you've got a character who is a man of words, who has lost all use for his own words, who is tired of talking. But there would be certain scenes where Terry might say to me, 'Alright, this is the topic. Talk a little bit about this.' And it just felt wrong. And sometimes I would be totally silent and it would go great. It's all I needed. As long as you are not attempting something, you are just discovering it as you go along. That's what delights him. He's very excited by what he does and by making films.
  • [on being called a 'star'] I'm embarrassed when people say things such as 'star'. It's so vacuous. What if it was the apocalypse right now? What use would I be to anybody? Most people have definite skills but I'd be going 'Yeah, you know what? I'm going to pretend to be somebody else'. That's a great leveller. Ultimately, I'm useless.
  • [on The Promise (2016) and the Armenian Genocide] To my shame, I knew nothing about the Armenian Genocide. When I first read the script, it was an uncanny moment. (...) I really only hope that the film can help and not actually exacerbate any problems. But to me, it doesn't take a genius to see that there's an embarrassment to having to acknowledge the atrocities that occurred in the birthing of a nation [Republic of Turkey]. It happens to many nations. [2017]
  • [on The Promise (2016)] There's something important about a film that many people have tried to stop being made for decades. One and a half million people were killed in the most brutal fashion, and I knew nothing about it, and that's not uncommon. That's improbably bizarre. This is modern history...The fact that this Armenian Genocide happened and no one was ever held accountable may have provoked other genocides since. [2017]
  • Thank you to Satan for giving me inspiration on how to play this role! [2019 Golden Globes Award for role of Dick Cheney in 'Vice.']