Bale's outburst, in context? Our business?
It's all across the newspapers and the websites for days, on the set of Terminator Salvation, Christian Bale lost his cool and ended up shouting and swearing at the Director of Photography Shane Hurlbut who apparently walked behind Bryce Dallas Howard while Bale was in serious acting mode, and it wasn't the first time according to Bale.
However is it really any of our business? Does it make a jot of difference to the film at all, or our enjoyment of Bale's performances, and are we taking all of this out of context?
Absolutely. It's entirely out of context. What we're getting is one person's view of the event, a recording that only has Christian Bale leaping into full rant, where we can't hear the other person talking, or anyone else, where we can't see or hear what happened before, or see what is happening during the rant. Bale says a number of times that the crew member walked across his viewpoint during the take a number of times, we don't see that either.
Imagine just taking one person's side of an argument and taking that as fact and basing your own decisions on that one sided argument and then broadcasting that as fact? I've had that happen to myself in life and I've stayed quiet, and the misrepresentation from that was huge.
We don't know the whole truth, all we hear is his rant, and all the stories are leaping on that and bringing up his private life, suggesting all manner of things. However I ask them, have you ever been a leading actor in an intense scene for a major motion picture? Have you been interrupted while doing such an intense scene and been right in the middle of your character? Do we know the full story?
Sure, Bale does go off on a complete rant and perhaps takes it too far, but he was pretending to be someone else at the time with his mind probably very much in a similar state to his ranting, can we really make judgements on any of this?
Is he the only actor to rant at someone on set either? Absolutely not, and don't just say it's Lily Tomlin either, there are many who have, big and small actors alike. There are legendary stories of actors and actresses going off on one from the heady days of Hollywood to today, with reasons from interrupted method acting to straight, plain ego's.
Who cares apart from the gossip mongers and the people involved? Won't we just watch the film and enjoy it? Or if we are to scrutinise it shouldn't we find out all the sides of the conversation and story before damning someone?
While the story about it over at The Guardian begins badly, making similar judgements, it does have some interesting points later on. It says a lot more about McG as a director and the control of the set than anything.
Although we hear someone trying to calm Bale down and ask him to take a minute, we don't really hear McG leaping in and trying to resolve the situation, we do eventually hear him on the defensive and Christian Bale leading the set, even deciding to roll again and not wait, asking for something to be reset or reapplied on him in order to go again.
Now again I scream context, this is a few minutes in months of working on a film, and we have no idea what has gone before, but if we look at what's happening right now in this clip it does seem as though Bale is in charge of the set and not McG.
Bringing that context back into it again, it could be that McG and the rest of the crew was so shocked at this abnormal behaviour from the star that they were stunned into silence, again we have no idea.
So instead of leaping at the star shouldn't we attempt to understand the context and maybe find out the other sides of what happened, understanding that he is an actor who tends to play these intense characters and get absorbed by them in scene, and that he's far from the first actor to do something like this – and we're not talking double figures.
You can listen to the rant courtesy of regular reader Billy, I think it originally comes from TMZ who broke the story.
Meanwhile we've heard from Assistant Director Bruce Franklin that Christian Bale is a consumate professional and he was having a bad day, so far there's not been any word from anyone else involved on the incident, and really should there be?
Should we be judging so quickly, or should we try and understand a little? In the end, does it matter? He is a great actor and we keep going to see his films.