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14 Things You Never Knew You Wanted to Know About Christian Bale

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I’m just laying this one right on you guys—how do you all feel about Christian Bale? I’m kind of apathetic toward him. My husband thinks he’s one of the greatest actors of our time, but I don’t know. I’m definitely more reserved with my high praises of him than anything. His portrayal of Bruce Wayne/Batman, in my humblest of opinions, is tepid at best (but maybe that’s because I’m of the Michael Keaton generation), and though he definitely carved out a notch in Hollywood A-listery with his performance in ‘American Psycho’, I’m still not all that excited about him.

But other people? Well. Other people sure are. So much so that there’s a Christian Bale biography getting ready to hit stores in the coming weeks. The bio was written by Bale’s former publicist and assistant, Harrison Cheung, and it’s called Bale: The Inside Story of the Darkest Batman.

Here are a few “startling” “revelations” about Christian Bale—things even the most hardcore of fans might have never known if it weren’t for this book. From the Huff Po:

1. Edward Norton, Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt all passed on the role of Patrick Bateman in “American Psycho.” Though there was a great deal of negative buzz surrounding the picture (which changed directors as well), Bale felt the film could help him break into America. “I don’t want to be a movie star,” Bale told Cheung. “I want to be an actor. All this talk of career suicide … I rather like that I’m running contrary to what everyone expects.”

But Leonardo DiCaprio wanted the role. Lionsgate issued a press release during Cannes in 1998, announcing that Bale had been replaced. Bale was livid: “Losing this role is like having a pencil shoved through my brain.” The studio offered him a supporting role, but Bale refused to consider that. DiCaprio eventually bailed after Gloria Steinem urged him not to take the role, which she said could inspire copycat murders from within his teen fan base.

The role then went to Ewan McGregor, who had just been screwed out of his lead part in “The Beach” by the newly landed DiCaprio. Bale begged McGregor not to take it, and the latter passed.

2. On the set of “American Psycho,” Bale was required to appear nude multiple times. He used a “cock sock” (Cheung says it’s an “industry term”), a “fleshtone spandex pouch” which covered his genitalia. Co-star Guinever Turner mocked the size of Bale’s sock, which led Bale to exclaim, “Goddam her!”

3. Bale would call up family and friends in the character of Patrick Bateman, greeting associates with “It’sssssssss Patrick!”

4. DiCaprio proved to be Bale’s biggest rival. Movies the latter lost to the fresh-faced Leonardo:

Jump in for the rest!

“This Boy’s Life,” “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” “Romeo & Juliet,” “Titanic,” “The Beach.”

5. He turned down the role of James Bond. After “American Pyscho,” Bond producer Barbara Broccoli met with Bale and “intimated that the role of 007 would be Christian’s for the taking” after Pierce Brosnan’s contract expired. Bale resented the character for representing “every despicable stereotype about England and British actors.” He told Broccoli that he had “already played a serial killer.”

6. He was up for the part of Jake in “Training Day,” but was told he looked to old to play the rookie cop. The role would eventually go to Ethan Hawke, who won his first Oscar nomination for the part.

7. Bale once paid Cheung with a computer, and the following note: “Enjoy the computer. Sorry I’ve not been able to pay you anything for all of your work, but I hope the computer can suffice until a time not too far in the future when we’ll form a huge corporation, take over the world and sell out! Love, Christian”

8. Bale once admitted that, of all his roles, he identified most with Patrick Bateman.

9. He had an especially fraught relationship with his fans. When a fan letter reached his Manhattan Beach home, he sent a fax to Cheung that said the fan should be “eliminated.” “Better to be safe than sorry,” he wrote. “A screwdriver thrust thru the eyeball into the brain prevents any screaming. Let me know how it goes.” When fans would approach him in public, Bale would “lecture little girls about being rude and intrusive until tears streamed down their faces, and their parents tugged them away from our table.”

10. Steven Spielberg asked Bale to do a cameo in “Schindler’s List.” Bale refused.

11. Bale’s infamous crash diet for “The Machinist,” which led him to lose 65 pounds, consisted of water, an apple and one cup of coffee per day, with the occasional whiskey. Eventually, it cost him his social life. “In the end, I had to stop going out. I realized that wasn’t going to work. I’d do a bit of eating hardly anything and losing 51 pounds and then I’d put on 7 pounds bingeing one night because I’d have a couple of drinks. So I decided no more social life, no more friends, no more dinners, no more drinks.”

12. “It only took me five years of therapy to get past my Bale years,” Cheung writes. “My therapist would describe my condition as post-traumatic stress disorder.” Bale demanded Cheung sign a non-disclosure agreement before paying him, which Cheung refused to do.

13. “Batman Begins” was a passion project for Bale, and one that he dedicated to the memory of his father. This despite the fact that his relationships with his parents were deeply complicated (Bale’s father tried to stop his son’s involvement with “American Psycho,” for example).

14. Bale did not attend “Dark Knight” co-star Heath Ledger’s funeral.

Yikes. I always knew this guy was f-cking nuts, but I never fully realized just how f-cking nuts. Any Bale fans out there now?

17 CommentsLeave a comment

  • I have a friend in LA who’s known Bale’s family for years — he said basically, “Dude’s talented, but a mean asshole, and always has been.”

    • Loved him in many movies like American psycho. But it did make me laugh; however, I wondered how he could play that part so good.

      Interesting enough my friend Carol had asked him for an autograph, and when she was dressedin Pirate Gear..HMMMM…I get the picture. He had a tincture of jealouse. He Christian, Carol is the most sweetest friend I know in my complex. I sure wish you wouldn’t have done that. Hop Hop Princess Andie

  • “Bale resented the character for representing “every despicable stereotype about England and British actors.” He told Broccoli that he had “already played a serial killer.”

    Lol projecting much Chris? I mean, who is he kidding? The above quote applies to every expat British advertising/graphic design teacher i’ve ever had the displeasure of sitting through class with, and it sounds like Bale falls into this category too- hard to get along with; preachy and like my teachers, a complete blowhard based on the lecturing of little girls. Stereotype? Hardly, when it’s based in truth.

  • I still think of him as Jack from Newsies (only the best musical ever) and have loved most of his films.

    He’s not a personable guy, obviously. I can’t say I’m shocked. Remember The Terminator set freak out? Priceless.

  • I like how everyone immediately takes all of this information as “fact”….people bag and attack stars all of the time….I’d like to hear Bale’s response to these allegations first. Remember- you don’t know this man or anything about him…judging him by someone else’s allegations and/or rumors is pretty freakin’ low.

  • “Any Bale fans out there now?”

    Yes. Obviously. Since he is amazingly talented. Oh sorry, I forgot that this was pretty much just a list of things presented by one jilted ex employee as gospel that you can use to reinforce your pre-conceived notions.

    Sigh, the Internet . . . such a complex thing. It gives me access to 24 food delivery and an endless supply of cute puppy videos but it also makes every person with a keyboard think they are a writer.

  • You know therefore significantly relating to this subject, produced me for my part believe it from numerous various angles. Its like women and men don’t seem to be interested until it is one thing to do with Woman gaga! Your personal stuffs nice. At all times maintain it up!

  • The reason I enjoyed the movie is because as I’d already said it reminded me of my 1st boyfriend. Just wondered how he could play that part so well I know as a writer I experience stuff so it makes it fun. Just as I said sorry to hear my friend was brusshed aside. No harm taken , we all have a bad day, and that is me to!
    Andrea Papke

  • Well I was at Geoffrey’s in Malibu & ran into Robert Redford. We were leaving and my hubby gave the valet 10bucks, the kid told us he (Redford) hardly ever gives nothing? His hands were empty when Redford walked by?
    So, yes living here you do see stuff like this. And yes celebs are scrutinized. But it is the lifestyle they choose. Reeves seems pretty cool guy I saw in Long Beach. But I don’t go to visit/ or rather see a celebritie if I don’t think much of them. It doesn’t mean I don’t like their acting–but I wouldn’t pay to see them live.

  • He’s an Aquarian. They are eccentric by nature. It’s not his fault..He is a great actor, a hottie and a darling…He’s such a sweet husband/dad <3. I always wish him the bestest. Balehead for life.