On 2 February, 2009, the world found out that Christian Bale lost his temper.
July, 2008. Bale was acting in a scene for McG’s Terminator Salvation with Bryce Dallas Howard. His DP, Shane Hulburt, walked into his line of sight to adjust some lights.
This put Bale off his stride, and he let Shane know that he was upset in no uncertain terms. Unfortunately for Bale, his four-minute expletive-laden rant was recorded for posterity, and released to the internet.
You might have heard it. In fact, we think you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t.
It was one of the biggest internet stories of 2009. Within 24-hours t-shirts had been made and sold, a sophisticated sound-board had been created and a signed indie-band had written, recorded and made a video for a song inspired by the outburst.
That song, R U Professional was well-received by the indie press, and you can see it below.
But somewhere in the maelstrom there was a man who had lost his temper trying to do his job. A man who had been in the middle of filming an intense scene, a method actor playing an angry fighter.
We sat down to discuss the incident with him – becoming the first magazine to get an answer to the question: What the hell happened?[page-break]
“Hey listen, I did it, it’s in the public space. I take the consequences for it. I’m not hiding from that. I went overboard.
“I’m not making any excuses, but there is an essential trust and it’s not a tacit one, which is every sound guy says, ‘We are not only not recording, we are not even listening.’ So, well, there goes that.”
“I do stress though, it’s not in anyway a trust that’s there to cover up bad behaviour. It’s not about that. It’s an essential trust that’s needed for creativity.”
“I just don’t think it’s in anyone’s interest to know that much either. I’m actually someone that’s very anti the whole B-Rolls, DVD extras and stuff like that.
“I understand people are interested, I get that they want to hear about it, but to me I look at it as old school movie magic and with magic you do not reveal your secrets.
“I’m not making any excuses. I’m not whining. I’m not going [puts on silly voice] ‘Oh well, if it hadn’t have been for that!’ But it’s that. It’s a creative trust. It’s not a behavioural trust.”
This interview continues in Total Film 155, on sale today.
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