Back to IndieWire

Christian Bale Thought Teresa Palmer Was A Stripper While Shooting Terrence Malick’s ‘Knight Of Cups’

Christian Bale Thought Teresa Palmer Was A Stripper While Shooting Terrence Malick's 'Knight Of Cups'

A couple of years ago, we talked with Teresa Palmer about her experience shooting Terrence Malick‘s upcoming “Knight Of Cups,” and the director’s unique methods of keeping things fresh. She revealed that when shooting scenes with Christian Bale, she was basically tossed right into the fray, without his prior knowledge.

READ MORE: Ennio Morricone Reteams With Terrence Malick, Will Score ‘Voyage Of Time’

“…they call it ‘torpedo’ when a character in a cast comes and gets thrown into the scene and the other actor doesn’t know that character is going to be put in the scene. That’s just the little experiment they do,” Palmer explained. “So the end of when I was supposed to go home, Terence asked me, ‘What are you doing the rest of the day?’ I was like ‘Nothing, nothing at all.’  And then he was like, ‘Would you like to stay and we’ll make you a torpedo.’ So I ended up torpedoing into these scenes with Christian Bale and then that continued on for the next eight days. So I was brought back and this character became a bigger character and I got to improvise and it was just a funny, sassy character that’s different from a lot of the other characters that I’ve seen in some of Terry’s past films.”

So, it sounds like a neat idea, but what is it like to be on the receiving end of that method? Well, Bale tells The London Evening Standard that he actually had no idea that Palmer was even an actress.

“Even when they were actors, Terry would still tell me they weren’t,” he said. “We were filming in a strip club, and Teresa Palmer’s there in her little silver hotpants and I’m asking her how long she’d been dancing for? Does she enjoy it? What got her into it? I had no idea that she was an actress until about a week after working with her. Suddenly I saw a billboard with her face on it and I went ‘What?’”

“I didn’t know where we were half the time,” Bale added. “Terry would go ‘That looks good, let’s stop. Go and talk to that bloke’. Sometimes the bloke was an actor; sometimes not.”
“Everyone else always got more material than I did. Terry called it ‘torpedoing’,” the actor continued. “I never got any pages at all. I would just arrive and he would say, ‘Deal with it and see what happens’.”

Well, it seems Bale amiably rolled with the punches, even it wound up causing him later embarrassment when the woman he thought was a stripper was a fellow thespian. “Knight Of Cups” opens on March 4, 2016. 

This Article is related to: News and tagged , ,