How to lose your credibility in ten seconds

AICN attempts to justify Christian Bale’s now-infamous outburst:

The scene in question, (sic) was a very emotional and tough scene between Christian Bale and Bryce Howard. A scene that required soul bearing and a deep level of immersive concentration. The sort of scene where everyone on set knows not to get in anyone’s eye lines, and definitely not to move lights around while filming. You lock that shit down before the scene starts.

It would be tough to take this sort of self-important posturing seriously in any context, so it’s worth remembering that Bale was filming the third freakin’ Terminator sequel when he exploded. Does pretending to fight an army of genocidal robots really require “soul bearing and a deep level of immersive concentration?” Really?

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “How to lose your credibility in ten seconds

  1. Just over here from TheAmericanScene. I really think you got at something that meaningful for *anyone* who’s trying to make a space for their ideas/make some money online. Bad imitations, both techically and in conceptual approach are not the answer.

    RE: Mr. Bale.

    Just heard the outburst, and yes, very unprofessional. Without knowing more about Mr. Bales I’d be inclined to chalk it up to his having a bad day and I’d guess he’s very regretful and genuinely embarrassed. If further information comes my way I might change my mind.

    I am quite certain, however, that your snark about Terminator III is way off base. Mr. Bales is the lead(?) in a multimillion dollar production. That alone is a huge responsiblity; no less than being the DP. Suggesting that somehow Mr.Bale does not need the same level of respect afforded his contributions to the production than (say for example) the DP fundamentally misunderstands the profession of acting. I wouldn’t have an actor who wasn’t willing to give everything he had to my pissant little productions, and I’m sure the producers of Terminator III feel the same way.

    Doing what Mr. Bales does is hard. It takes a lot of commitment and concentration. The reasons he makes a lot of money doing it is because 1) he’s good at it; 2) he doesn’t scale his efforts in accordance with your opinion of the project he’s working on.

    Having listened to the (highly unprofessional rant) this was the *second* time the DP fiddled with the lights in the middle of a take. Once is in excusable.

  2. Agree entirely re: low-rent imitations. I actually find BHTV’s ramshackle approach quite charming.

    As for Bale, I understand why he’d be frustrated, though I don’t think it warrants such an outburst. No matter how stressful his job may be, it’s worth remembering that he’s extremely well compensated for his efforts.

  3. I think you’re missing my point.

    Bale’s outburst is inexcusable. Maybe he was having a bad day, maybe he’s an asshole.

    But your suggesting that he need not be fully committed because he’s working on Terminator iii is just plain wrong. He needs to be just as present and committed as the director, the DP, or the dolly grip; only he has to do it with about 50 people watching his every move.

    If the DP had already blundered through once, blundering through again was no less inexcusable as Bale’s outburst. Of course the DP’s error doesn’t make nearly as good dance remix.

  4. Oh yeah. The whole thing is a producer’s wet dream. When’s the movie due to come out?

  5. I’m out of my depth here, so I’ll defer to your knowledge of film production, though the original post was aimed more at the absurd lengths Ain’t It Cool News will go to rationalize bad behavior from their favorite actors.

    Not sure when the movie’s due, though.

  6. Acting is like editing; the only time you should really be aware that any acting (or editing) is going on is if it’s *bad* acting (or editing). As such, it’s hard to appreciate how hard work and concentration it takes to make acting (or editing) invisible — even in a not very serious movie.

    Again, Bales is completely out of line. Completely. But the notion that he is taking himself too seriously because he’s just an actor, or because it’s just T3 is the worst kind of snarky know-it-all-ism ™.

    The entire eruption occurred because the DP was taking his job seriously – so seriously he couldn’t wait till between takes to check/adjust his lights; not once, but twice!

    Now who’s taking their job, their contribution to the project, themselves too seriously? Bales, or the DP?

    I still say it’s a set up to generate buzz for the film.

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