(October 13th, 2004)


Christian Bale, star of the upcoming prequel film Batman Begins, told Sci Fi Wire that it will delve more deeply than previous Batman films into the character’s origins and motivations. “It’s very much looking at how Bruce Wayne came to invent and create this character,” Bale said in an interview. “[We explore] how he got to be this nutcase that runs around dressed as a bat.”

Bale plays the title role in the comic-book-inspired movie, the fifth in the Warner Brothers franchise, based on the DC Comics series. Christopher Nolan (Memento) directs. Bale said that he initially had reservations about playing the character, because he didn’t feel like Batman was particularly scary. But Bale began to discover the character when he donned Batman’s trademark cape and cowl. “The first couple of times wearing the mask was great, because it really helps you to [understand] how to play it,” Bale said. “I always found it kind of laughable: The guy thinks he’s going to be scary by walking around dressed as a bat. I’d look at him and go, ‘What kind of nutcase are you? Get out of my face.'”

Bale added that the key to playing Bruce Wayne was figuring out the emotional dynamic between his real life and his alter ego and melding the two. “I thought, ‘How can he really have this rage and this focus on despising criminals and this promise that he makes to rid the city of them?'” he said. “I saw that it’s really difficult to make a promise to yourself and then keep that clarity of thought that you had at that lucid moment and maintaining that intensity. Adopting this different persona helps him to maintain that kind of intensity.”

Bale said that he had to adopt a different persona in the suit than the one he played as Bruce Wayne. “In donning the suit and everything, I no longer wanted to present this as Bruce Wayne dressed as a bat,” Bale said. “He becomes a different creature, partly out of necessity of disguise, but also out of necessity to keep himself sane in his own life. It really helped me. Once I put [the suit] on, I felt like if I don’t play it this a certain way, then I’m just going to feel like an idiot standing in a bat suit the whole time.” Batman Begins is in post-production and is currently slated for release June 17, 2005.