TV Hits (June 2005)

BURNING RUBBER

Move over Spider-Man Batman is back!

Hunky actor Christian Bale is slipping into that famous, oh-so-tight rubber outfit to play Batman in the new film. Batman Begins. TV HITS sat down with Christian in LA to get the lowdown on the flick – and he reckons audiences are in for a big surprise! Here he tells us why…

Holy caped crusader, Christian! Tell us about the new movie, Batman Begins.

It’s based more on Batman from the graphic novels, which we felt were concerned more with the human story. I call them graphic novels because some people get offended if you call them comic books! The film’s far more gritty and dark than anything we’ve seen on screen or on TV before.

How did it feel suiting up in your batman gear?

The suit was so tight-fitting that after about 45 minutes in it I’d get a splitting headache! Plus, you can’t see very well out of it – you have this kind of tunnel vision. But getting the headaches had its benefits actually, because it would make me a really nasty person to be around, which was good to rev me up! So I just kept it on and used it for the hard-core scenes. Method acting at its best!

So we’re going to see a darker side to batman?

Well, the film is more dramatic in the sense that we’re looking at how Batman is created from Bruce Wayne and exploring what the hell is going on inside his head. This guy is a therapist’s dream! I mean, everyone has character flaws, but Bruce deals with it in a much more dramatic fashion. He chose to deal with it by dressing up like a bat, for God’s sake! [laughs]

As a child, did you ever jump off the roof to see if you could really fly?

Nah, I didn’t run around pretending to be a superhero or anything like that. I was more into daring my friends to do really adventurous stuff, [laughs] I never really played superhero games myself.

What tricks did you have up your sleeve to help you get into character?

I kept the Batman graphic novels with me on the set at all times, so I could take a look at them and remember what got me interested in him in the first place.

Are you worried about ‘what the hardcore batman fans will think of you?

After I was cast, I really sat down and thought ‘There’s going to be so many people who are really obsessed with this and have an opinion about how I should be playing it and how it should be done. ‘But it’s something I’ve just had to push out of my head because otherwise it won’t work. If I was to have any reservations about playing him, it would have failed terribly.

Tell us about the biggest villains we’ll see.

We have The Scarecrow, who is the big villain in Gotham. I can’t mention any others, because if I do, I swear someone from Warner Bros, will burst down the doors of this room and shoot me! This will be the first Batman film in which the villains will not overshadow him. They compete with him, but this is Bruce Wayne and Batman’s story.

We hear batman’s girlfriend is played by tom cruise’s new squeeze, katie holmes! what’s she like?

Katie’s a great girl. She plays Rachel, who is a friend of Bruce’s from childhood who means a great deal to him. As Batman, he has become so obsessive that he kind of puts his life on hold. For PG reasons, we didn’t feel it necessary to delve too far into his love life! [laughs] Bruce realises he’s incredibly lacking in that area because Batman has taken over and he hasn’t been able to have normal relationships. It’s all pretty intriguing!

Speaking of close relationships, does batman’s old buddy robin make an appearance in the film?

We do not have Robin, no. I was always watching the TV show thinking/Who are you, Robin? What are you doing?’ He’s a bit of a joke! If they’re going to include him in future movies, then he’d have to be radically altered to anything we’ve seen before now. I was very pleased to learn that Robin was not in this script! [laughs]

Is there going to be a sequel?

I hope so. It all depends on how it goes, but I’ve signed on for a total of three.

People are saying this movie will put you on Hollywood’s a-list. What do you think?

Everything is pointing in the right direction for this to work. I’m not a complete moron – I think this is going to be the highest profile movie I’ve ever done and that can change things professionally in a big way. There’s good and bad that comes with that. I’m not going to complain about it, though. I chose to do this. Let’s just see what happens from here. Everything is an experience – bring it on!

By Donna Walker-Mitchell.