Remember from a while back all those headlines about how Christian Bale beat his sister and mother at a hotel during the London premiere of “The Dark Knight”? Bale’s PR people spun that off as the mother and daughter trying to squeeze money out of the then-34 year old actor, and we all believed it. After all, he’s a big-time movie star, and they were, er, professional clowns who kidnap kids by luring them into sewers with balloons. Or something like that. Well the 34-year old is now the 35-year old actor, and there is an amazing tape caught of Bale on the set of “Terminator Salvation” just ripping into Shane Hurlbut, the movie’s director of photography.
It’s over three minutes of Bale dropping the “F” bomb and threatening to “kick your f’in ass”. The whole thing apparently happened over a month ago on the set, but gossip site TMZ, as they are wont to do, has just released the actual audio onto the net. (You only mostly hear Bale’s side, because the recording is from his mic, but you can hear the shocked responses of people around him, including the DP and director McG, who weakly tries to respond to what is obviously an out-of-control tirade from a total madman.)
So why did Bale go all Joker on the poor DP? The LATimes said this:
Essentially, Hurlbut (who worked with “Terminator Salvation” director McG on “We Are Marshall”) walked across Bale’s sight-line during a scene. That’s a huge no-no and anybody with Hurlbut’s two decades of experience on movie sets is well aware of that.
You can hear it for yourself by downloading the mp3 here or doing the YouTube thing. Obviously this is NSFW. Unless, of course, you work at a construction site in New York filled with goombahs.
But wait, is there another side to this story? Well, sort of. The film’s Assistant Director and Associate Producer Bruce Franklin told E! Online this:
“If you are working in a very intense scene and someone takes you out of your groove…It was the most emotional scene in the movie,” said Franklin. “And for him to get stopped in the middle of it. He is very intensely involved in his character. He didn’t walk around like that all day long. It was just a moment and it passed.
“This was my second movie with Christian, and it has always been a good experience with him,” added Franklin, who also worked with the actor on 2000’s Shaft. “He is so dedicated to the craft. I think someone is begging to make some noise about this, but I don’t think it’s fair. The art of acting is not paint by numbers, it’s an art form. “
So is Bruce trying to score brownie points with Christian Bale? Is he right? Was the DP being a total amateur and had the 3-minute vulgarity-filled cussing out coming? You decide!
Below: “What am I in for? I killed some jackass who walked across my sight-line. Dude had it coming.”