In years gone by people rarely took performances in superhero movies seriously. Not even, surprisingly, the actors.
The Dark Knight Trilogy as whole changed that. The singular effect of Heath Ledger’s Oscar winning turn as the Joker can’t be ignored, which, along with screen greats like Michael Caine and Gary Oldman convincingly fleshing out peripheral characters, helped usher in more and more high profile performers donning spandex. But before he taught general audiences and agents what the fans already knew (there’s some depth to be explored in these movies), the series’ central performer was already fully committed to bringing Batman believably and completely to life.
Christian Bale is a man notorious for his insane commitment to every single role and Batman is no exception. Throughout the three films he played Bruce Wayne he showed that creative acting techniques shouldn’t feel out of place in a big budget blockbusters.
I’ve already looked at the hidden depths of Heath Ledger’s Joker and Tom Hardy’s Bane, but while those were all smart decisions in service of the villains, they weren’t quite as crazy as what Bale did for the hero. Here are eight ridiculous sacrifices Christian Bale suffered to make his Batman to best it could be.
Honourable Mention – Improvised Lines
As the previous two lists in this series showed a moment where Bale and Ledger improvised to iconic effect, it’s only fair to highlight some of Bale’s on-set creativity. Not really a sacrifice and thus not deserving a place on the list proper, it’s still an eye into how deeply he can get into his characters.
When visiting Selina Kyle after losing his fortune (partly by her actions), she apologises in a then-uncharacteristic beat of remorse, to which Wayne responds “no you’re not”. More so than the clapping or “lovely, lovely voice”, this feels essential to the beats of the scene and yet only came from Christian Bale on the day. Pretty impressive, although pretty standard next to what’s coming.
This article was first posted on January 17, 2014