News Weekly (June 13th-19th, 2005)

CHRISTIAN: “I HAVE THE SILLIEST JOB ON EARTH”

Brooding, handsome, mysterious – sounds like Christian Bale! The British actor talks about transforming himself again to play the Caped Crusader in Batman Begins

Would you say that you’ve consciously avoided leading-man roles until Batman Begins?

No, I wouldn’t say consciously avoided. I’ve just gone with varying movies that I felt would be things that I’d be interested in. It’s probably much to do with just not being offered those roles.

You’ve still got an American accent. Have you kept it since filming Batman Begins?

Yeah. The last film I did, Harsh Times, was American and because Batman took so long to film, I didn’t want to have to go back to my English accent and then have to change it again. For me, it’s not easy to go back and forth.

Your wife Sibi Blazic must find your changing accent interesting, then…

Oh yeah, I sound different all the time to her. She’s had to live with many personality types as well.

What’s it like for her when you play an unlikeable guy?

I never know at the time, but I certainly know later when she or my friends will say, “Man, we just couldn’t stand you around that time. We’re really glad you’re finished with that project.”

So it must have been awful for Sibi to see you running after a prostitute with a chainsaw in American Psycho?

Not at all. That’s her favourite scene in the film!

Did she want you to continue your body building routine after that movie?

I’m sure she would, but she knows I’m English and that I like my pint of beer.

How was it transforming your body again for Batman Begins?

You need a great deal of patience. I had just finished The Machinist, so I was down to 121 pounds [55kg] and I had to get back to 180 pounds [82kg]. So I was eating, eating, eating… and lifting a lot of weights. I never want to do that again, but the transition was incredible to see.

Was Sibi worried about your health with the extreme weight changes?

She trusted me because I didn’t feel bad. She’s a very passionate Yugoslavian lady. She just said, “Don’t you dare damage yourself or I will damage you even more.”

People must react differently to you when your appearance changes so much…

Definitely. But even when I had my teeth done for American Psycho, I swear to God people treated me differently just from having a straight line of teeth. I had good old English teeth before that – I had little fangs.

How bizarre is it for you to be a sex symbol?

I find it funny. It’s a silly profession I’m in and I don’t object [laughs]. My entire job is silliness, if you really dissect it. I have the silliest job on Earth.

Edited by Tiffany Dunk.