In case you were wondering, yes, Christian Bale is still alive. He’s been jetting around the world promoting his latest film, and he’s currently in Thailand where he’ll be appearing at the Bangkok International Film Festival. Christian Bale will be returning to the US soon, but you can still catch him at the BIFF in Thailand. This October 14–20, 2019

The truth is, if you’re a fan of The Dark Knight Trilogy, you probably didn’t need an introduction to Christian Bale. He’s been acting since the early days of his career, and over the years he’s become known for his intense, intimidating performances, especially in superhero films. When he turned up late for filming his 2017 interviews with Robert Pattinson and Jennifer Lawrence, both fans and journalists were outraged, prompting Christian Bale to issue a public apology and explain that he was held up by a “family emergency”.

It’s great to see Christian Bale back in the spotlight following his “family emergency”. His scenes in The Batman—and quite possibly the entire trilogy—are amongst the most memorable of the entire saga. Still, it was somewhat of a missed opportunity for the actor, as he spent much of the interview talking about his regrets and the influence of his parents on his acting career. It wasn’t exactly the kind of inspiring tale you’d expect to hear from the actor who played the Joker. Nonetheless, it’s still good to see him getting some recognition. What’s more, Christian Bale is now the proud owner of a brand new BMW M56 motor bike. It seems like he’s finally found the perfect balance between work and play.

Looking Back

There are obviously lots of other famous people that we missed out on interviewing. One of our favorite underappreciated actors is Michael Shannon. Before diving into the interview itself, it’s worth taking a second to look back at Michael Shannon’s incredible career. Shannon’s performances in the Coen brothers’ O Holy Ghost! and Richard Linklater’s Before Sunset are amongst the most haunting and atmospheric of all film noir’s, and he’s gone on to appear in dozens of other films since. If you’re curious, you can watch a full retrospective of Shannon’s work here.

One of the biggest regrets that we have is not being able to interview John Cusack. Cusack’s portrayal of Bernie Rose in The Sure Thing has become one of the most memorable characters of the entire new millennium. The fact that Cusack’s character was based on the late singer/songwriter Paul Westerberg only makes his performances that much more brilliant. We were fortunate enough to interview Westerberg briefly, and it was one of the highlights of the entire project. The fact that Cusack never even heard of The Sure Thing until after it was released is a testament to just how brilliant an actor he is—he must have been doing his homework. Unfortunately, Cusack is probably the most in-demand actor of all time, and he’s probably too busy to even have a TV show or movie that he can call his own. Another major regret is that we didn’t get an opportunity to interview John Hurt. Hurt has been acting for longer than we’ve been alive, and he’s worked with everyone from Alfred Hitchcock to Martin Scorsese (one of the greatest living film directors). His performance in The Night Hunter is probably the best vampire portrayal of all time, and it’s no wonder that he’s still in demand. It’s a shame that Hurt lives in England, as he’s probably the most popular Englishman alive today. It would have been such a fantastic opportunity to interview John Hurt, and it’s a chance we’ll never get. It’s amazing how many people and famous creatures we’ve managed to miss out on due to time constraints. This regret makes us appreciate every minute that we do get to sit down with an actor, writer, or director more.

What Is An Actor’s Life Like?

One of the biggest challenges that we faced as researchers was simply trying to reconcile the glamorous image of an actor’s life with the reality of what an actor actually does. It’s not that the glamour is a lie, it’s just that it’s so vastly overstated. The truth is that an actor’s life is incredibly stressful, tiring, and emotionally draining. It doesn’t matter if you’re famous or not, the fact is that acting is difficult and it takes a lot of work. You’ll likely encounter lots of ups and downs, but above all, you’ll experience a lot of stress. There was so much information online that corroborated this, with many interviewees talking about how much pressure there is to perform, how demanding the roles can be, and how emotionally taxing it is to act. There is also this idea (propagated by the media) that acting is all glamorous and fun, which is far from true. It’s a difficult job that requires a lot of dedication and hard work.

The Interview

We had initially intended to interview Michael Shannon, one of our favorite actors of all time, and it still might happen. Just not this year. It’s been an incredible run for us, interviewing tons of famous people, and we’re sad to see it end. We’ve learned so much from this project, and it was an honor to interview some of the greatest names in history. Still, we’re happy that we were able to interview so many popular people, because it allowed us to learn so much about them. We hope that you learned something too. So, with that said, let’s dive into the interview itself.

The Interview Questions

The first thing that caught our attention was the fact that Christian Bale was apparently “holding” the rest of the interview (he was late for a commitment in Thailand, and therefore couldn’t make the interview). It seemed like an unnecessary and rather careless move on Bale’s behalf. After all, he had already explained that he was held up by a “family emergency”. There was also the issue of whether or not he was going to give any kind of update on the status of his acting career. We had hoped that he would at least drop some hints about what he was working on and when we might see it. So, with that said, let’s dive into the questions.

How Did You Become An Actor?

Bale started acting at a very young age. He starred in his first film at the age of three, and went on to star in many more films throughout his childhood and early teen years. It seems like he has been acting ever since. So, how did Christian Bale become an actor? Were his parents already encouraging him to pursue acting? It’s difficult to say for sure, but his mother was a very prominent stage actress, and Christian Bale often credits her as being the one who inspired him to become an actor. When asked about his mother, Bale said: “There’s a wonderful quote by Henrik Ibsen, where he said you should never tell anyone in your family that you’re an actor; it would break their hearts.”

Why Did You Choose This Profession?

While it’s admirable that Bale is choosing to be proactive in his career and branch out into other media, it does beg the question, why the actor? Why choose this profession? As we’ve established, acting can be extremely taxing and physically demanding, and it certainly doesn’t pay the bills. In an effort to become financially stable, Bale dropped out of Oxford University to become a teacher, and went on to teach literature at a secondary school. After a few years of teaching, Bale’s parents convinced him to try his hand at acting, and he soon after landed his first role in a television series. It seems like the timing couldn’t have been any better. One of our favorite parts of the interview is where he talks about how he initially thought that this was “just a temporary thing” and that he “didn’t want [the] life”, but then he realized that it was something that he “actually really loved doing”. It is well known that acting can be immensely rewarding, and perhaps that is why Bale decided to stick with it. Still, it doesn’t hurt that teaching English is also one of the most satisfying professions out there. What’s more, it’s quite a lucrative one too.