Christian Bale: It Would’ve Been ‘Pitiful’ to Try Method Acting in a Marvel Movie

The Oscar winner also addressed the "monotony" of filming "Thor: Love and Thunder" on green screens: "Can you differentiate one day from the next? No. Absolutely not."
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 21: Christian Bale attends the "Amsterdam" European Premiere at Odeon Luxe Leicester Square on September 21, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Christian Bale
Samir Hussein/WireImage

Christian Bale did not follow fellow “American Psycho” alum Jared Leto’s Method acting dedication to the MCU.

Academy Award winner Bale said it would be a “pitiful attempt” to apply Method techniques to a Marvel film as villain Gorr the God Butcher in Taika Waititi’s “Thor: Love and Thunder.” Leto infamously spoke out earlier this year about staying in character for MCU installment “Morbius,” including during bathroom breaks requiring a wheelchair and crutches.

When asked in a GQ cover story if Bale used his Oscar-winning Method practice for his first foray into the MCU, Bale said, “That would’ve been a pitiful attempt to do that, as I’m trying to get help getting the fangs in and out and explaining I’ve broken a nail, or I’m tripping over the tunic.”

Bale added that working with CGI effects and green screens made the whole production monotonous and unlike any other film he’s done.

“That’s the first time I’ve done that. I mean, the definition of it is monotony,” Bale said. “You’ve got good people. You’ve got other actors who are far more experienced at it than me. Can you differentiate one day from the next? No. Absolutely not. You have no idea what to do.”

Bale said, “I couldn’t even differentiate one stage from the next. They kept saying, ‘You’re on Stage Three.’ Well, it’s like, ‘Which one is that?’ ‘The blue one.’ They’re like, ‘Yeah. But you’re on Stage Seven.’ ‘Which one is that?’ ‘The blue one.’ I was like, ‘Uh, where?'”

The “Dark Knight” alum added that he is a “bit illiterate when it comes to films” (he’s never seen “Sound of Music”) and opts not to be “playing dress-up” in his downtime.

“I disappoint everybody with how little I know about film. I don’t think it matters. I don’t think you have to for what I do,” Bale said. Bale added that he is “flat-out embarrassed” by the concept of acting and is “actually mortified” at times.

“You know, I’m under no illusions either about the fact that the only reason I get noticed or feel useful in this world is when I pretend not to be me, right?” Bale said. “It’s a slow death. I’m having this very slow death in public.”

The “Amsterdam” star continued, “I like the insanity of the job itself. I guess it’s the idea of what people think an actor is that’s embarrassing. I mean, how many useful jobs are there, really, in life, where you’re helping other people? Am I just creating more stupid background noise? But the acting itself, I enjoy how ridiculous it is. I love something that you can just go too far with. People are fucking fascinating. I love people, I love watching people, and I get to watch them in a way that would otherwise be perceived as verging on extremely bizarre.”

Bale told IndieWire that he has collaborated so frequently with David O. Russell because of the lack of monotony on set. “It’s a very unique experience,” Bale said of working with Russell. “David is unlike any other film director, and that’s what you want. A director brings a point of view, and a rhythm and everything, and the great ones are always unique. They’re singular. And David is that. Truly one of the greats.”

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