Celeb Watch: The Fighter's "Christian Bale May Kill Someone Yet," Gyllenhaal and Hathaway Go Naked

by Sophia Savage
November 18, 2010 6:17 AM
3 Comments
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Thompson on Hollywood
While AFI Fest opener Love & Other Drugs (check out its naked stars below) failed to yield much Oscar buzz, the fest's surprise screening of the The Fighter (here's the TOH review) boosted the prospects for Christian Bale's performance as the crackhead brother to Mark Wahlberg's punchy welterweight. It remains to be seen what the impact on Academy voters will be of John H. Richardson's lengthy and entertaining interview in Esquire with the Batman star, entitled "Christian Bale May Kill Someone Yet." From Newsies to The Machinist, this actor--who admits to having never seen Bringing Up Baby, The Philadelphia Story or Breakfast at Tiffany's---is as intense in real life as he is on screen. Straddling the line between pulling teeth and Bale's attempts to resist definition, Richardson asks Bale about the risks of being misunderstood:

BALE: I don't care. Being misunderstood is not a bad thing as an actor. I know the truth.

On his "Art":
BALE: Art is something to be proud of. Art is no compromise. As an actor, you're giving it up, you're at the mercy of so many other people. So are you truly reaching the lofty goals? No, of course you're not. And there are some movies where that was never the aim anyway.
You know, I've been doing this quite a long time. It doesn't make me feel special. But I actually love it more for the reality of how it is done, the sinew and the bone of how it's really put together.

On resisting Method acting:

BALE: I'm not on a couch having therapy. And it's very limiting if I have to be able to relate every damn thing in somebody else's life to something that's happened in mine. At the end of the day, I'm faking it. Pure imagination, and it's only phony if you don't go far enough with it. You can become obsessive and it can get to the point where you're almost losing yourself. You've become a vessel. And holy shit, things start happening. And I'm hating the way I'm sounding right now, because I sound like a tosser, but that's my secret ambition.

Thompson on Hollywood

On being a non-self-centered actor:
BALE: It's the opposite of self! It's actually saying, "I don't stand a chance being myself. I've gotta create somebody else in order to communicate. If I remove myself from all of my own memories and inhibitions and create another character — holy shit! I can reach out and communicate in that way." So to me, it's actually about trying to fucking destroy the self, and then you might be able to hit something. There's some quote, I think it's Oscar Wilde, "An artist puts nothing of himself into his art."

On why he chose the unnamed Los Angeles 5-star hotel for the interview:

BALE: 'Cause it has nothing to do with my life. I never come here, ever. It's as far removed from any place that I would ever go to. And that's exactly why I chose it. 'Cause it has nothing to do with me.

What's better than a picture of two naked celebrities on the cover of Entertainment Magazine? Three, apparently.

Thompson on Hollywood

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3 Comments

  • ts | November 19, 2010 6:16 AMReply

    Mary, I truly hope we have more adult feature films. I am beyond tired of the hideous Twilight films, lousy comic book movies, and those big tentpole films with a lack of intelligence.

  • mary | November 18, 2010 8:34 AMReply

    Is "Love & Other Drugs" tracking well?

    If "Love & Other Drugs" does well at box office, I suspect that more adult-driven sexual movies (with nude scenes) will get made.

  • RR | November 18, 2010 8:09 AMReply

    It's a typical Bale interview. The only difference being that the interviewer challenges him on some of his answers (answers he has given-almost word for word-in dozens of previous interviews). No one will even remember this interview by the time The Fighter releases, let alone when Oscar voting comes around.

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