"Since taking on the mantle of Bruce Wayne and Batman for the 2005 summer blockbuster Batman Begins, Christian Bale has become one of the more respected actors to take on the role, but before starting work on its sequel, The Dark Knight, Bale went to work with German filmmaker Werner Herzog on his latest dramatic film Rescue Dawn. Bale took a break from shooting The Dark Knight to talk to press about the Herzog film, but he took some time to answer a few questions from ComingSoon.net/Superhero Hype! about the sequel-in-progress.
Superhero Hype!: You seem like an actor who is always looking to do something new, so how hard is it for you to go back and play Batman, a character you've already done? Is there something new you feel you can bring to him?
Christian Bale: You got to see with the other versions, it didn't really keep it going, but Chris Nolan who I'm working with for the third time now, he ain't going to be making a movie if he's not going to be doin' something very different with it which he's achieved in spades. I'm actually liking very much the idea, because I haven't reprised a role before, so I know it already and obviously there'll be progress. We've got a great cast as well. Chris and me work very well together, so I know we'll be fighting an awful lot to add to it. The last thing it is is treading water. Now the people support us completely too so we have all that extra support behind us, to just kind of let rip.SHH!: As an actor, how important is it to have a franchise character that you can go back to which allows you to do things like this movie?
Bale: Well, I've been doing things like this movie anyway. It's not like if I didn't have the franchise, I'd say, "No I can't make 'Rescue Dawn.'" What it does allow though is that something like "Rescue Dawn" you know Werner and me have been talking about making it for two and a half years, but I doubt it's a huge coincidence that we got the finance pretty quick after I'd been in Batman. So it does mean that I can do these things in a much easier fashion verses a number of years back where like "American Psycho 2," it took two years, just because they didn't want me. Certainly it helps with that, but in and of itself, I really like what Chris has done and working with him on Batman. I tell you, it's the only time in my life that I've been actually planning the future, because usually you know what you're doing for the next two months if you're lucky. After that, you have no idea. I've gone times when I've really needed to work, and there was no work coming in for me. I didn't work for a year and a half or something. I guess having a franchise is the only time you can actually kind of sit back and go, "It's alright. It's going to be okay." Even if nothing else happens, I know that that's going to come along at some point. You don't even know that actually because they could dump me in a second. But, it's a good bit.SHH!: How about working with Heath as The Joker?
Bale: Absolutely. He's a great choice for it. I like him personally, but he's got a real craving for playing that role. I think he's going to do something really very different. We worked together briefly in the Todd Haynes movie.
"The moral dilemma of how far do you push the line when dealing with crime and corruption figures heavily in The Dark Knight story. "It's the circumstances," offered Bale on Batman's thought process. "As we see in The Dark Knight, if there's the possibility of having the system work and of having somebody like Harvey Dent be an elected official who can actually solve the problems that Batman's trying to do himself, then obviously Batman is obsolete at that point. So he believes in the system. It's just that the system in Gotham is broken."
Does Bale live within the system? "Everyone would want to live in a system that works but when it doesn't, I think everyone would like to think that they were able to affect some kind of a change themselves, and answer problems for themselves instead of being completely useless," answered Bale. "Whether that's the correct thing to do in the long term or not, I'm not sure. But certainly when it comes to protecting things that you love, then it's black and white. You don't really care too much about the long term consequences. You're going to do what is right for the people around you in that instant which is, of course, always the conflict between what is right for the individual and is that right for society in general. It's what's so great about being human. We're not ants. We do have individual streaks and we will do what is right for ourselves and not just toe the line."
Christian Bale and his daughter Emmeline.Maggie Gyllenhaal, Peter Sarsgaard and their daughter Ramona.