CHRISTIAN BALE: BATMAN IS A CHANNELLING OF BRUCE WAYNE’S RAGE
Is Batman a hero or vigilante?
A bit of both. He’s only needed because the system has failed. You want to believe citizens would stand up and fight for justice in that position. Ideally, Batman becomes obsolete and that’s what Bruce Wayne is looking for. But he’s a multifaceted character, which is what I enjoy about this portrayal. The Dark Knight sums him up – this guy has a desire to do good but he also has a great deal of violence, anger and a lust for revenge. So there’s always that question mark: is he going to cross the line?
What’s the difference between Bruce and Batman?
Batman is just an extension of one of Bruce’s characters. Bruce is somebody with multiple personalities. You’ve got the private, lonely, sad, child-like Bruce, who has never moved on from seeing his parents killed. You’ve got the playboy Bruce, who is there just as a performance. And Batman is a sincere channelling of his rage, his sense of injustice and wanting to be useful. So I’ve never seen him as being separate because that’s how you have to understand why somebody would run around in a silly suit like this.
Was it hard for you and Tom Hardy [Bane] to execute your fight scenes in costume?
Yeah. Well, just on a basic level it was tricky. Sometimes Tom couldn’t hear what I was saying and I couldn’t hear what he was saying. We worked out a kind of sign language before we’d go at each other. But these were meant to be far more brutal, raw, visceral fight sequences than we’d seen before, because Bane has arrived when Batman/Bruce Wayne is at a very low point.
Did you feel a good screen chemistry with Michael Caine?
It worked really nicely. Michael did a great job with Alfred. He is Bruce’s surrogate father and butler. It is a weird relationship to navigate. Alfred is the gateway to try to find something likeable about Bruce Wayne, to see the lonely child inside this apparently very successful man.
Batman is motivated by a desire to fight crime. Do you have any similar instincts?
I think it’s a damn shame if we’re in a society where people don’t try to do that kind of thing. While I’ve never truly been tested, I’d be hideously disappointed with myself if I didn’t step up to the plate in situations like that. Clearly, Batman is doing it in a very extreme fashion and he’s suffering for it. He’s hanging on to pain but he’s turning it into something that gives him a sense of purpose. At heart, I think, probably everybody has that desire and would like to answer that question of whether, if push came to shove, they would be able to rise to the occasion.
The Dark Knight Rises and The Dark Knight Trilogy are out now on Blu-ray and DVD with UltraViolet.
By Metro Reporter.