The Oscar winner also discussed the low paycheck he received for "American Psycho," revealing he got paid less than the makeup artists.
Christian Bale is opening up about his experience filming “Thor: Love and Thunder.”
In a wide-ranging interview with GQ for its November cover story, the Oscar winner shared his thoughts on starring in the Marvel film, in which he played villain Gorr the God Killer.
While Bale, 48, stressed that he loves the Chris Hemsworth-led MCU franchise, he said some aspects of working on the film weren’t all that exciting.
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When the GQ journalist pointed out that some actors find that acting in front of a green screen isn’t for them, Bale said, “That’s the first time I’ve done that. I mean, the definition of it is monotony. You’ve got good people. You’ve got other actors who are far more experienced at it than me. Can you differentiate one day from the next? No. Absolutely not.”
“You have no idea what to do,” he added. “I couldn’t even differentiate one stage from the next. They kept saying, ‘You’re on Stage Three.’ Well, it’s like, ‘Which one is that?’ ‘The blue one.’ They’re like, ‘Yeah. But you’re on Stage Seven.’ ‘Which one is that?’ ‘The blue one.’ I was like, ‘Uh, where?'”
Although “The Dark Knight” star has been known to go “Method” for certain roles in the past, he joked it “would’ve been a pitful attempt to do that” for his “Thor” character. “As I’m trying to get help getting the fangs in and out and explaining I’ve broken a nail, or I’m tripping over the tunic,” he quipped.
Later in the Q&A, Bale clarified that he enjoys the “Thor” movies, saying, “I love those films. I love them. There’s a mood and a time for every single one, and I do have a firm belief that every single kind of film can be done brilliantly.”
In the same profile, Bale also opened up about his experience on the set of the 2013 film “American Hustle,” particularly when it came to reports he allegedly defended his co-star Amy Adams from the film’s director David O. Russell, who as GQ noted, is “known for having difficult sets.”
Bale has worked with Russell on three films: 2010’s “The Fighter,” “American Hustle” and “Amsterdam,” the latter of which he is currently promoting. When asked about his experience on Russell’s sets, he said, “If I can have some sense of understanding of where it’s coming from, then I do tend to attempt to be a mediator. That’s just in my nature, to try to say, ‘Hey, come on, let’s go and sit down and figure that out. There’s gotta be a way of making this all work.'”
Following “American Hustle’s” release, Adams revealed in an interview that she cried on the movie’s set, and there were reports that Bale jumped in and came to her defense — with Bale telling GQ he once again worked as a “mediator.”
As for whether he feels “differently” about the Oscar-nominated film due to the fact that he had to “intervene,” Bale said, “No. No, no, no. No. You’re dealing with two such incredible talents there. No, I don’t let that get in the way whatsoever. Look, if I feel like we got anywhere close — and you only ever get somewhere close to achieving; our imagination is too incredible to ever entirely achieve it — but if you get anywhere close to it, and when you’re working with people of the crazy creative talent of Amy or of David, there are gonna be upsets. But they are f—ng phenomenal.”
“Also, you got to remember, it was the nature of the characters as well,” he added. “Right? Those characters were not people who back down from anything, right?”
Bale noted that Adams has previously said “American Hustle” “can live on” despite her experience with Russell, before sharing how he feels about how he handled the situation looking back. The star — who played Irving Rosenfeld in the film — said, “I did what I felt was appropriate, in very Irv style.”
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During another moment in the interview, Bale reflected on the low paycheck he received for playing serial killer Patrick Bateman in the 2000 film “American Psycho,” which is one of the roles he is most known for now. Despite being the lead star, Bale said he got paid even less than the makeup artists.
“… The first thing was that I’d taken so long trying to do it, and they had paid me the absolute minimum they were legally allowed to pay me,” he recalled. “And I had a house that I was sharing with my dad and my sister and that was getting repossessed. So the first thing was: ‘Holy crap. I’ve got to get a bit of money,’ because I’ve got ‘American Psycho’ done, but I remember one time sitting in the makeup trailer and the makeup artists were laughing at me because I was getting paid less than any of them. And so that was my motivation after that. Was just: ‘I got to get enough that the house doesn’t get repossessed.'”
When asked if he believes his low pay stemmed from the “nature” of the film or his “position in the industry at the time,” Bale said, “It was the nature of me in it. Nobody wanted me to do it except the director [Mary Harron]. So they said they would only make it if they could pay me that amount. I was prepping for it when other people were playing the part. I was still prepping for it. And, you know, it moved on. I lost my mind. But I won it back.
Read Bale’s full GQ profile, here.
The November 2022 issue of GQ hits newsstands on October 18.
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