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The Battle of the Predominant Feelings I Have for Christian Bale



Professionally Obsessive Love

VS

Incapacitating Fear

Because ‘reoccurring romantic fantasies’ is not a feeling…entirely.

There’s been a lot of hoopla in the news (read: everywhere ever) lately about Mr. Bale’s mega-tantrum thrown at the DP of the upcoming Terminator: Salvation film. After Stephen Colbert’s lighthearted use of the sound bite Tuesday evening, and surprisingly long poke at it through Steve Martin last night, I finally listened to the clip over at TMZ. And yes, it is excessive. It’s frightening to imagine yourself in the DP’s shoes, just trying to do your job and then being verbally assaulted by one of the country’s biggest actors. But at the same time, the media obsession with it is just as excessive. (Note: this blog does not constitute “media” and refuses to feel guilty for writing about the event.)

Bale has a shitstorm of judgment raining down on him because he had the misfortune of being caught on tape. I imagine that a fair number of other actors, directors, producers, and other high-ranking studio personalities have gone on very similar tirades within the privacy of their sets, traumatized new assistants, and gone about their day blissfully free of moral finger-wagging. That doesn’t mean Bale’s, or anyone else’s, tongue-lashings are 100% acceptable. It just means that people need to stop acting like he’s Hitler wearing a necklace of puppy heads.

At about 2 minutes in, I’m more impressed than appalled: that man can rant. Can you imagine the torrents of fire he’d spew at anyone who truly wronged him? Jesus. I’m used to seeing and admiring him in apathetic, robotic roles where he excels at being emotionless. Patrick Bateman, Cleric John Preston, Trevor Reznik—and even as Alfred Borden and Bruce Wayne—he fills the screen with an inhuman calm one can’t help but admire. It’s almost reassuring to know Mr. Bale, the man, does have feelings—even if they are overwhelmingly angry at times.

There are arguments for both views, whether you cite his arrest for supposedly assaulting his mother and sister last year (later dismissed as merely a verbal argument over some cash), or note that the facts surrounding the rant have been overlooked as people focus solely on the tirade itself. Harry over at Ain’t It Cool News shares a bit of insight on the event, which is worth a read for anyone who’s still worried about it at this point (read: hopefully no one). Or, I could comment on Michael Mann’s quote that Bale “becomes the character so totally that he’s that person 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The accent, everything.” Of course, maintaining an accent while yelling at the top of your lungs must have proved too difficult a challenge. But with the method acting Bale puts into his roles, coupled with the fact that the ruined scene was an emotionally-charged and very difficult one, I can see where he might have come off too strongly to begin with. It should have ended much earlier than it did, but the incident isn’t enough to destroy Bale’s character, in my eyes. He’s still an amazing actor, and that’s why I watch him, and will continue doing so. Maybe even more so now, for fear of him hunting down and berating me for missing his latest film. Wait, that sounds like it could turn kinky fairly quickly…Incapacitating fear of Christian Bale, for the fantasy.

But Professionally obsessive love for Christian Bale, for the win.

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