Christian Bale is a chameleon; a man who enjoys putting himself through torture (in an acting sense) to achieve the proper character (see his work in “The Machinist” as proof). With two very different films coming out within weeks of each other, Scott Cooper’s “Out of the Furnace” and David O. Russell’s “American Hustle,” Bale is, once again, the man of the hour. So let’s take a look at a few interviews with him, shall we?
In a recent chat with Details magazine, transcribed in full at Bale Heads Blog, Bale discusses his methods of getting into character as well as his work alongside some rather prestigious directors. It’s a fascinating interview, blending Bale’s philosophical look at the world of acting—and, at times, utter indifference to it—with a humor you don’t expect from a man known for such seriousness. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Bale interview without him discussing the injuries sustained in creating a character. “I ended up with a herniated disk, which was a combination of the extra weight and slumping a lot. It’s my own fault—nobody asked me to gain the weight. I just saw Irv as being a bit of a rolling ball, full of momentum,” he explained.
Meanwhile, the character of the 1970s con artist is another larger-than-life role Bale says he loves to play as much as David O. Russell loves to direct them. Bale’s relationship with Russell is fun to hear about as he explains, “We can disagree in a way that two people who respect each other can.”
It’s a different relationship from his work with Scott Cooper in “Out of the Furnace,” which recently unveiled a Johnny Cash-powered Canadian TV spot for your enjoyment. Bale was skeptical when Cooper declared he wouldn’t make “Out of the Furnace” without him: “Every director says that…and I know they’ve offered it to four other people beforehand…” Once the movie was canceled, and Bale wasn’t able to get the script out of his mind, did he make time to take on the role of Russell Baze, which audiences and critics are applauding. Both movies, according to Bale, are ones in which “you spin on a dime” and provide obstacles, such as short shooting times, to create the necessary tension and characterization.
The magazine chat is just the tip of the promotional iceberg. Below you’ll find the aforementioned TV spot along with over an hour’s worth of conversation with Bale, including a group interview with the rest of his “Out of the Furnace” co-stars, a half-hour discussion as part of the DP/30 series, and a four-part interview created for The LA Times Envelope Screening series. Watch below, plus check out a few new photos from the film as well.
“Out of the Furnace” opens on December 6th.