Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
2015 Tribeca Film Festival Line-Up Announced: James Franco’s ‘Adderall Diaries,’ Olivia Wilde In ‘Meadowland’ & More 2015 Tribeca Film Festival Line-Up Announced: James Franco’s ‘Adderall Diaries,’ Olivia Wilde In ‘Meadowland’ & More First Look: Joseph Gordon-Levitt As Edward Snowden In Oliver Stone's 'Snowden' First Look: Joseph Gordon-Levitt As Edward Snowden In Oliver Stone's 'Snowden' Drew Goddard To Write And Direct Sony & Marvel's 'The Spectacular Spider-Man'; 'Sinister Six' Scrapped Drew Goddard To Write And Direct Sony & Marvel's 'The Spectacular Spider-Man'; 'Sinister Six' Scrapped Premature Oscar Predictions: The 2016 Best Picture Contenders Premature Oscar Predictions: The 2016 Best Picture Contenders Watch: Original Short Film Version Of 'Whiplash' Starring Oscar Winner J.K. Simmons Watch: Original Short Film Version Of 'Whiplash' Starring Oscar Winner J.K. Simmons Watch: Nifty Video Examines David Fincher’s Subtle Repetition Of Framing And Blocking In 'Gone Girl' Watch: Nifty Video Examines David Fincher’s Subtle Repetition Of Framing And Blocking In 'Gone Girl' Sigourney Weaver Says She'll Be Playing A New Character In The 'Avatar' Sequels Sigourney Weaver Says She'll Be Playing A New Character In The 'Avatar' Sequels Margot Robbie Says 'Suicide Squad' Is More 'The Dark Knight' Than 'Avengers'; David Ayer Says Joker Is "Majestic" Margot Robbie Says 'Suicide Squad' Is More 'The Dark Knight' Than 'Avengers'; David Ayer Says Joker Is "Majestic" Kristen Stewart Joins Kelly Reichardt’s Untitled Montana Drama With Michelle Williams & More Kristen Stewart Joins Kelly Reichardt’s Untitled Montana Drama With Michelle Williams & More Watch: Paul Thomas Anderson's Sophomore Short 'Cigarettes & Coffee' Watch: Paul Thomas Anderson's Sophomore Short 'Cigarettes & Coffee' Another Oscar? First Look At Eddie Redmayne In Tom Hooper's 'The Danish Girl' Another Oscar? First Look At Eddie Redmayne In Tom Hooper's 'The Danish Girl' 'Prisoners' & 'Enemy' Director Denis Villeneuve To Helm 'Blade Runner' Sequel, Harrison Ford Confirmed To Return 'Prisoners' & 'Enemy' Director Denis Villeneuve To Helm 'Blade Runner' Sequel, Harrison Ford Confirmed To Return The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far "I F*cked It Up": Neill Blomkamp Says He Wants To Go Back To 'Elysium' And "Do It Correctly" "I F*cked It Up": Neill Blomkamp Says He Wants To Go Back To 'Elysium' And "Do It Correctly" New Looks At Daniel Craig, Dave Bautista, And Lea Seydoux In 'Spectre' New Looks At Daniel Craig, Dave Bautista, And Lea Seydoux In 'Spectre' The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki

Watch: Christian Bale Explains The Motivation Behind His Trademark Batman Voice For 'The Dark Knight' Trilogy

The Playlist By Charlie Schmidlin | The Playlist November 19, 2013 at 9:38AM

Aside from its blistering visual sense now expected from “Inception” director Christopher Nolan, “The Dark Knight” trilogy of films featured an entire spectrum of interesting aural performance choices, from Heath Ledger's drawly turn as the Joker to the terrifying incoherence of Bane as interpreted by Tom Hardy. However, the original--and the one consistent through all three films--is of course Christian Bale's gravelly-voiced Batman. Thanks to a look at the actor's audition tape in the recent box set for the trilogy, the voice has confirmed itself as always tied to the character and the role, but recently Bale spoke about his major choice and its reasoning.
12
The Dark Knight, Christian Bale

Aside from its blistering visual sense now expected from “Inception” director Christopher Nolan, “The Dark Knight” trilogy of films featured an entire spectrum of interesting aural performance choices, from Heath Ledger's drawly turn as the Joker to the terrifying incoherence of Bane as interpreted by Tom Hardy. However, the original—and the one consistent through all three films—is of course Christian Bale's gravelly-voiced Batman. Thanks to a look at the actor's audition tape in the recent box set for the trilogy, the voice has confirmed itself as always tied to the character and the role, but recently Bale spoke about his major choice and its reasoning.

Speaking to MTV News while doing the rounds for the upcoming Scott Cooper flick “Out of the Furnace," Bale inevitably fielded questions about his time on Nolan's films, and remembered the audition for the part of Batman with a wry reflection. "I got there. They put me in Val Kilmer's suit. It didn't even fit properly, and I stood in it and I went 'I feel like an idiot,' ” Bale said. “What kind of guy walks around, dressed like a bat? And is then going to go 'Hello, how are you? Just ignore that I'm dressed as a bat.' Of course, he's meant to be doing this. If you look at the history of the guy and the pain that he went through. I went 'I can't do this in a normal voice. I have to become a beast in order to sell this to myself.' "

Bale recalls his wife responding rather unfavorably to the end result ('Oh, you f---ed that one up, didn't you?'), but while he says that the voice “isn't for everyone” and that Ben Affleck is “obviously going to have to do his own thing” for Zack Snyder's “Batman vs. Superman”, it was the only rational decision for stepping into the suit. “Otherwise,” he said, “he's just loopy beyond belief. He's loopy, but he's loopy with a method to his madness."

He added about the future of the character, "I wish [Affleck] the best. You look at this kid, Batkid... That gives the whole point. It doesn't matter which actor is playing him. He's a symbol. He's so much bigger than any actor. That's all. This little kid, he doesn't really care which actor's playing him. It's the symbol of the whole thing, and that's what makes the character so fantastic. I look forward to seeing what Ben will do with it."

He isn't alone; catch the entire exchange below, and you can see what Affleck wrangles from the role when “Batman vs. Superman” arrives on July 17, 2015.

This article is related to: Christian Bale, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome

E-Mail Updates