Christian Bale, What Are We To Do With You?
I turned on CNN this morning to see what the top news stories were. I was not surprised to see that the newscasters were discussing entertainment news. It seems like more and more news television stations are covering “fluff” stories in place of stories on politics, economics, the state of our country and other topics of importance. Its escapism. I get it.
The poor soul on the spit this morning was actor, Christian Bale. Apparently, there were some unkind words spoken on the set of Terminator Salvation between the director of photography, Shane Hurlbut, and Bale. Alright. Perhaps it was more of a four minute rant on Bale’s part that was caught on tape. The story goes that Bale was doing a scene and Hulbut, entranced by the light quality, distracted him, thus ruining the scene. Bale, frustrated, called Hulburt out on it, using foul language and threats. Being that it happened awhile ago, one could presume that the men had gotten over it and gone on with their lives. Unfortunately, this mysterious tape has been leaked to the press and what was once a private, set issue has become public domain.
Though his behavior is regrettable, if you have ever acted, I’m sure you can understand where Bale was coming from. Already under a lot of stress and probably exhausted, Bale overreacted to his already long day being prolonged further. As he is playing a violent character, his adrenaline most likely was on overload. Being the perfectionist that Bale is known to be, breaking character must be an impossible task for him. Like a scene partner tripping over their lines during a tech week rehearsal, if Hulbut had done his job properly, none of this would’ve happened. Should Bale have sworn at him and made threats? Absolutely not. However, due to the fact that Hulbut is still a live and well, obviously Bale was just full of hot air.
As with every news item, opinions are mixed. During this discussion on CNN, half were defending Bale while the other half thought he should be fed to the wolves. This one woman repeatedly used the word “abuse” and believed that Hulbut was totally innocent. She used examples from her past saying that if she could be nice to her coworkers under stress, Bale should be too. I wish I could talk to her coworkers off camera. In my experience, people pointing the finger can easily have it turned back at them.
I find it very suspicious that this tape was leaked. More suspicious though is that it was made in the first place. After further research, I read a rumor that the director, McG/Joseph McGinty Nichol, taped the rant as collateral incase Bale quit the film. With this in mind, it brings up some questions. Was Nichol waiting for this to happen? Did he perhaps plan it? Was this a publicity stunt? Does he have a personal vendetta against his star? It should be noted that the film’s assistant director, Bruce Franklin, has come out in Bale’s defense.
The thing that bothers me the most out of all of this is that Bale’s estranged mother, Jenny Bale, felt the need to get involved. You might remember the last scandal Bale was involved in. His mother and sister, Sharon, alleged that he had assaulted them while he was in London to promote The Dark Knight. What’s interesting is that they cried injury after he denied them a $200,000 loan. Though most likely innocent, he was arrested and the papers went nuts with it. Once Jenny and Sharon got their fill of the limelight, they slunk back into the cave they came from. Now Jenny is back to weigh in on the latest scandal. Playing the role of the concerned mother, says she is upset by the tape. She understands his anger at the situation, but why did her little boy have to go on and on like that? She hopes that this latest scandal will prove to the world that she deserves more money…I mean that he has real anger issues. It is unsettling to know that this woman is a therapist in the UK.
I feel quite bad for Bale. Though he has done things to earn the title, “Hollywood Bad Boy,” he certainly has had a lot of help. This poor actor is surrounded by untrustworthy people (his wife and daughter the exception) who are looking to be in the spotlight and do not care about Bale the person in the slightest. If you can’t depend on your own mother, wouldn’t you have anger issues? I’m sure that Bale regrets the extent that he went to. However, I hope that Hurlbut takes on his part of the blame. It is wrong that the press has made another private moment the story of the week.
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