Times of India (July 14th, 2012)


Actors don’t like being tethered to one defining role. They’d rather be proud of a variety of parts that will add up to their cumulative whole. And in the case of someone whose career has been as long as Christian Bale’s, one would expect him to feel the same way. Well, the truth is he doesn’t.

As he bids adieu to a role he has grown to love, he talks about his character, saying his goodbyes and also muses about the way forward.

As an actor, how difficult is it to come to terms with the fact that most people will remember you best as a returning superhero in the upcoming final instalment of the franchise? 

I am very grateful to have got the opportunity to play the part in the film trilogy. Besides, who wouldn’t be happy to be remembered for such a role?

You have had a different leading lady in each film of this franchise. Necessity or circumstance?

A bit of circumstance, some amount of necessity and a lot of good fortune! (laughs)

What is your opinion of your co-star Tom Hardy?

Tom is phenomenal. If I were a director, I would want Tom to be in my movies. But it’s a funny distance that you have in these movies, literally, by being cocooned by a cowl. I don’t truly feel like I’ve worked with Gary [Oldman], even though we’ve done three movies togethe, because I’m here in this darkness every time. Likewise with Tom, we’re both behind these masks. He’s feeling that isolation as well. We’d like to work with each other again after this!

In the latest film, your character is at the wrong side of an eight-year leap. Was it difficult to ‘let go’?

I love looking, studying, and investigating people. My character has an awful lot to investigate. Do we show absolutely all of that in the movie? No, we can’t. We are not trying to make it into a therapy session. Director Christopher Nolan was not in a position where he needed to do a third, he would only consider doing it only if he did find something worthwhile. In the first movie, you see a young man in great pain who is trying to find direction in his life. And he finds a path and he begins on that. In the second, we have somebody who is fully on that path, who knows who they are, who they have become and who they needed to become in order to deal with themselves. And in this final one, we have a mixture because he is able to look back and there has been pain and tragedy and had he not been the superhero, some of that might not have happened. Also consider, how long can you allow this pain to direct your life without it becoming completely self destructive? It becomes an addiction and there has to come a point where you are going to self destruct in the most extreme manner or you have to get clean.

What do you admire and detest most about working with Nolan?

He is a genius! I’m rather glad to have worked with him on these many films.

What will you miss most when ‘the legend ends’?

I am very honoured to play this character. Chris said it’s time to say goodbye so it’s time to say goodbye!

What was the one memory of filming this character that you will always cherish?

I had so many fond memories filming this trilogy. I am always emotionally involved. Even if you fight with something, you can have a great attachment to it. I mean, I don’t have friends who I haven’t had fights with. Nobody does, because you don’t know that they are truly your friends unless you can go through that. With the costume, it is a love and hate thing. I love that it is an iconic figure that I am able to play and look so wonderful in the work that goes into it, and the things that I have done in it as well. I have an incredible fondness for it and with that also comes antagonism with the discomfort, the heat, the headaches, and all of that, but that makes it more meaningful.

What about a career beyond Hollywood? How about Bollywood?

I would love to act in an Indian film only if the filmmaker agrees to shoot during winters. Thanks to Chris, we were tortured shooting during Indian summers.

By Bryan Durham.