IESB.net (October 5th, 2004)

MORE ON BATMAN STRAIGHT FROM CHRISTIAN BALE

Is your version of the Batman story more character driven [like Burton’s Batman] or action driven [a la the Shumacher travesties]?

We’re doing a prequel, so it’s very much looking at Bruce Wayne and how he came to invent and create this character and how he became this nutcase that runs around dressed as a bat.

Can you talk about what it feels like to step into the cape and cowl? Does it feel cool? Do you feel grumpy all of the time?

The first couple of times, it was great because it helps you get how to play it. I always had a question… I always found it kind of laughable that a guy thinks he’s going to be scary walking around dressed like a bat. I’d laugh at him. I’d look at him and say, ‘What kind of nutcase are you? Get out of my face?’ I really thought how can you really take that to a point, where he has to sincerely have this rage and this focus on this despising of criminals and his promise that he makes to his parents to rid the city of [the criminals]. In a way, what I saw it as, is that it’s very difficult in life to make a promise to yourself, and then really keep that clarity of thought that you may have had at that lucid moment, and maintain that intensity. Adopting this different persona helps him maintain that intensity. In donning the suit, I also felt like he couldn’t be anything but a creature, that I no longer wanted to present this as Bruce Wayne dressed as a bat. He becomes a different creature himself. Partly out of the necessity of disguise, but also out of his own necessity an attempt to keep himself sane in his own life. I felt like if I didn’t play it this one certain way, I’d just feel like an idiot standing in a bat suit the whole time.

Do you feel like you brought something fresh to the character?

I do, [laughs] but so often you hear actors say that, and then you say, ‘I’m going to go check that out’, and then you look at it, and you say, ‘What did you really do? Did you actually do anything different?’ I do feel that, but we’ll have to wait and see if I managed it. If I didn’t do it, than there’ll be somebody else in there when number two comes around.

By Robert Sanchez.