Christian Bale is known for being pretty intense on set. He’s pushed his body to the limit for films, and he notoriously freaked out while filming Batman Begins. There are extremes he is unwilling to go through, like dying in the jungle for director Werner Herzog.
While promoting his Oscar Award-winning film Ford v Ferrari, Bale sat down for an interview with GQ, alongside his co-star Matt Damon. During the course of the conversation, the subject turned to stunts in movies. Bale is willing to push pretty far, but while filming Rescue Dawn in Thailand in 2005, he found his limit.
Dangling From A Helicopter
The most dramatic moment in the film comes at the end when Bale’s character, real-life P.O.W. Dieter Dengler, is rescued by an American helicopter after escaping a prison camp during the Vietnam War. For the shot, Bale had to be hoisted up a rope from the banks of a river into the chopper. Werner Herzog, himself known for the extremes he’ll go to get the right shot in his films, had grand ideas for this one. “We were in the helicopter… I love Werner, but with Werner you’re either just hugging and dancing together or you just want to kill each other,” Bale explains.
The actor continues, “It was flown by these pilots that were crazy, and they would take off in these crazy maneuvers and you’d take out half a tree as you went.” Bale, for one of the stunts, had to stand on the helicopter’s landing skid. He says, “I was standing, you know, on the rail, just hanging on from it. It was something else. I can’t remember what he suggested, but obviously, in that moment I didn’t agree.” He told the director it was too much, “I’m not going to die for you, Werner!” Bale shouted.
Bale Had To Deal With Off Set Nonsense For Ford V. Ferrari
The filming of Ford v Ferrari was dogged by bogus rumors perpetuated by the supermarket tabloids. Gossip Cop busted a Life & Style article during the production. The phony report contended Christian Bale and Matt Damon were “feuding” on set. We presented a mountain of evidence that the co-stars like and respect each other, just as this GQ interview highlights. Additionally, Gossip Cop spoke exclusively with a spokesperson for both actors who told us the allegation was false.
Even after the picture was released, the Globe was still trying to sell the false premise. Gossip Cop debunked an article from that outlet when it claimed Damon and Bale hated each other. Once again, we presented plenty of evidence to the contrary and once again, we double-checked with the actors’ joint spokesperson who told us the story was “nonsense.” It’s hard to trust any of these publications when it comes to on-set rumors as they are often very wrong.