Hindustan Times (February 27th, 2011)

I’D LIKE TO COME TO INDIA: CHRISTIAN BALE

Gotham’s Dark Knight has taken a fancy for the East. Christian Bale who, as of now, is on the verge of possibly taking home his first Oscar for his portrayal of a troubled boxer Dicky Eklund in The Fighter, has eyes set on India.

Ask him if he has plans to come here and he says: “Oh Yes, I have”. Quiz him about Bollywood and he doesn’t disappoint either. “I know it’s a huge industry out there and I would like to come to India and meet people over there”.

That implies he’s seen a Bollywood movie too. “Yes, I have seen Lagaan and I quite liked it.”

Competing with the likes of Geoffrey Rush, Jeremy Renner, John Hawkes and Mark Ruffalo, the 37-year-old is gaga over his fellow nominees.

“They are nominated because they all are the best… had there been a better best or less better best, they wouldn’t have been where they are,” he says.

Bale’s dexterity at his art also comes from physical transformatios to get into the skin of the character.

“Along with the cerebral part of the performance, to physically look the part is equally important. You cannot separate one from the other”, he says before confessing:  “I think to play Batmanwas physically draining and even for The Fighter, I had to loose almost half of my weight.”

“It is mentally draining but only at times because as an actor, you have to go through such physical changes and ultimately when your audience appreciates what you have done, its all worth it,” he adds.

The Welsh actor also picked on Eklund’s Boston accent for his part. Probe him about the difficulty and he quips: “It’s a lot harder to get rid of it than it was to learn.”

He further adds: “It helps a lot actually…it brings you closer to the character. Every character has its own challenges. It is very difficult to get in to the skin of a character based on a real person as your audience has a reference point and can easily spot out your short comings.”

On his part, Bale, says, he has done his best to do justice to the role.

“I have tried to emphasise a lot on Dicky’s love towards his kid brother. It’s quite a mix of loyalty, affection and dominance,” he says.

By Robin Bansal.