Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Yes, I did hear that The Dark Knight actor Christian Bale "lost it" on the set of his new film Terminator Salvation, but only now stumbled upon a more detailed story on the National Post newspaper website. The same thing I asked when I heard that Seinfeld actor Michael Richards did his tirade in front of an audience at a comedy club was, "why?".

Since I gravitate more towards 'techs' than actors, I sympathize with the film crew who had to witness and be victimized by the raging too-big-for-his-own-britches star (or whatever those people are called).

What this particular production needs is a producer like the one in the 1964 television feature The Movie Maker. Rod Steiger has to come down to the set and put the temperamental actor in his place (tear a strip out of).

If I was The New And Improved Terminator's producer -- and the production wasn't too far along in the shooting schedule -- I would have fired Bale on the spot. (SAG can bugger off.)

Some actors have to be dealt with very harshly.

National Post...


The Pope said...

Thanks for the link. All the same, it's about commanding respect and demanding respect.

If all I knew about Christian Bale was that he was the little boy in Empire of the Sun, which meant that he started out with Spielberg and Malcovich, and he survived being a child actor and avoided Neverland Ranch, he would command respect. Some of his performances command respect, as arguably does the status of incumbent Batman.

So what makes the sound byte especially odd is that Bale - who otherwise commands respect - resorts to DEMANDING respect, which is usually a tactic reserved for those who deserve no respect.

a) he could have spoken to Shane Hurlbut directly (maybe he did and no change resulted, as is the reputation of Hurlbut's quirk)
b) he could have spoken to McG, who may have been too meek a director and just happy to be there sans Charlie's Angels
c) he could have spoken to the AD Bruce about the problem, and may indeed have done that all day for all we know.
d) He could have made his ultimatum known to the producer - either Shane stops distracting him or he hits the trailer until Shane is replaced.

All of those options were available to him. He could speak softly because he carries a big stick. But Bale obviously snapped. The rant starts calling Shane "you prick" and later says "you're a nice guy, you're a nice guy, but. . ."

All I know is that Gale Anne Hurd was actually on my Facebook and now she appears to have deleted her account. Maybe she is actively producing that film and got tired of seeing dicks like me posting links in our status and discussing it with Harry Knowles and the like. I notice that for characters she shares a writing credit on the Terminator Salvation poster with James Cameron.

This can't be a good time for them.
When the noble, inspirational leader of the human armies sounds like American Psycho a little too much, I'm sure it's annoying.

Barry Smight said...

Generally what happens on a set -- or should happen -- is the director and assistant director have the set lock down so "Mr. Bale" can do his thing. Bale has to request this. If not, the crew (cameraman included) will go about their business.

Jon said...

I don't suppose you get to be a DoP without being yelled at a few times, salty language and all. People on sets get tired and frazzled and lose it....but the question is, do they pony up afterword and apologize for being a jerk? Or do they just expect that because they are The Highly-Paid Star that they don't have to? That's the follow-up part I'd like to hear about.