The actor, who won his first richly deserved Oscar for last year's The Fighter, is currently doing press for Flowers of War, the Chinese historical drama from director Zhang Yimou. The film is China's entry into the Best Foreign Film Academy award field, and will hit Stateside theaters for a qualifying run just before year's end. Whilst promoting Flowers of War, Bale talked to Ace Showbiz about what Wayne will be grappling with in the actor's last turn as Batman.
He asked, "How long will you let the pain and loss define your life? Walking around chasing bad guys is very heroic and attracts attention, but at the end it all accounts for, as a means to deal with the pain of a huge loss." One of the many interesting things about The Dark Knight was that it was a rare Batman story that never made mention of Thomas and Martha Wayne's fate, trusting the audience with that knowledge. It sounds as though the next sequel might bring things full circle.
More than any other portrayal of Bruce Wayne, Bale's version plays up the distinction not just between Wayne and Batman, but between the public and private Wayne. "We agreed that Bruce Wayne is absolutely sincere as Bruce Wayne," he explained. "And as Batman utterly sincere, but Bruce Wayne, the playboy, is a pure facade, it's a lie he has, somehow, to control one side of your soul that's not really under control. In fact, only Alfred knows who he is. It's time for Bruce Wayne to face the pain, that has always stirred his life."
Bale's next observations were more technical, as he said of the production, "Shooting in seven different locations, chosen by Nolan was a pleasure. It's really a privilege to work well, especially with the extraordinary troupe of actors, who always manage to meet Chris' expectations."
Finally, The Dark Knight Rises will serve as a conclusion to Nolan's take on Batman, with neither the director nor his lead actor intending to return for further adventures. Of playing the character for the last time, Bale said, "It's like saying goodbye to an old friend. When you have the opportunity to be a character so many times, you develop another relationship with him, a more profound one."
You already know all this, but hey, let's keep doing this dance until July 20, 2012. The Dark Knight Rises also stars Anne Hathaway, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Michael Caine, Marion Cotillard, Morgan Freeman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Juno Temple, and Matthew Modine.