Back in July, I was asked to talk about Baleheads to Empire magazine, in a short article about fandom. I wish to thank Mr. Owen Williams, and send my warm greetings to all Hiddlestoners, Cumberbabes, the Armitage Army and, of course Baleheads!
Since I don’t have an “about me” page on the blog (for now, at least – if ever), this Q&A is a great opportunity to show where I stand regarding our lovely fandom to my readers as well. So, I decided to post it in its whole as a reference to what I believe, as follows:
Why Christian Bale? What makes you a Balehead / what prompted you to start the blog?
I was never into fandoms, even in my teens. I liked some artists, but not so much as to follow their career closely. In fact, it didn’t make sense to me how one can focus so much on a celebrity’s life and work. But as they say, never say never, so after watching ‘American Psycho’ back in early 2008 I was so impressed that I started keeping a close eye on this versatile actor. What impressed me the most, after having watched almost all of his movies in a short period of time, were his dedication and the thespian approach to his characters. He reminded me of the ancient Greek theater, how the actor got immersed in what he had to present on the stage. This was definitely something I hadn’t noticed in any actor before. Also, I was so relieved to find out that he kept a low public profile, so refreshing against the “look at me” celebrity status.
What makes a Balehead for me is the appreciation of Mr. Bale’s talent and a healthy admiration, always combined with the respect for the person and his family. The reason I started the blog was because I wanted a place for fans to get up-to-date information about our favourite actor. But I also want it to work as some kind of archive of interviews, photos, videos, etc. Since my free time is limited, I have a lot of work ahead, but I will get it where I want it eventually.
How long have you been Balehead?
I’ve been a fan of Mr. Bale’s since April 2008. The first movies I saw of him were ‘Batman Begins’ and ‘The Prestige’, but what really made me a more interested fan was ‘American Psycho’, followed by ‘Equilibrium’ (great acting that actually “saved” this movie).
Is it just an online thing or do you ever organise meet-ups in person? What goes on at those gatherings?
For me it’ll always be an online thing, I guess. There was a Baleheads Movie Marathon in 2007 in the US, where Mr. Bale attended, and it would be quite interesting to have one again, but living in Greece makes it impossible for me to even be there or organize anything of the sort.
As a fan community, do you think Baleheads are different to other groups? What distinguishes Baleheads from (for example) Hiddlestoners and Cumberbabes, do you think? (Apart from the obvious!)
I really can’t speak about other fan communities, but I am sure that in any of those, there are fans who are focused mostly on the actors’ talent and abilities, and and not so much on gossip and invasion of privacy. I do believe that Baleheads consist of educated, down to earth fans, who are respectful of Mr. Bale’s personal life. My experience as one of the Baleheads Forum co-administrators for many years now (the other being my best friend Sheila, who I met in this community) is that loyal, actually dedicated fans are exactly how I described. There are of course the occasional “troublemakers” or “temporary fans”, as I like to call them, but our community rules are so precise that they need to accept them or just find another outlet.
Are there rival groups of Bale fans, or is it just one big happy community?
I would say neither. I am not aware of any rival groups, just different approaches to administrating a website/forum, which is obvious by a simple visit. But it’s not one big happy community either, because that would just be too ideal for the real world. Our main motto is “Baleheads United”, so it doesn’t really matter where you get your news from and/or choose to interact with other fans, but to never forget what makes a true Balehead: “the dedicated, yet respectful fan of one the greatest actors of our time”.