When Christian Bale takes on a role, he doesn't joke about. Whether he's stepping into the shoes of a slick businessman serial killer in American Psycho (2000) or dropping dangerous amounts of weight for The Machinist (2004), his performances always earn a great deal of respect from audiences and critics alike.
However, it seems as though the 42-year-old actor was not altogether pleased with one performance: his interpretation of Batman, throughout Christopher Nolan's three movies.
Speaking to Yahoo in promotion mode for Terrence Malick's Knight of Cups Bale confessed the disappointment that ensued when he took off the famous costume:
"I didn’t quite manage what I hoped I would throughout the trilogy. Chris did, but my own sense of self is like, 'I didn’t quite nail it.'"
He goes on to describe Batman as "very, very, very dark, messed-up character", stating that :
"I found when I put on the suit, I went 'I'll just feel like a bloody idiot if I don't use this as a means of [revealing] his true, monstrous self that he allows to come out in the moment."
And it seems that Heath Ledger, who won a posthumous Oscar for his outstanding interpretation of the Joker, sent Bale off kilter. Faced with such an impressive performance, the latter developed something of an inferiority complex as the Batman:
"Heath turned up and just kind of completely ruined all my plans. Because I went, 'He’s so much more interesting than me and what I’m doing.'"
A hard role to leave behind
Christian Bale, it would appear, is now ready to leave the Batmobile in the garage. While he expressed interest in taking on the role again for Batman v Superman, his enthusiasm was quickly dampened when Ben Affleck was selected to star in Zack Snyder's adaptation. In 2014, he admitted to Empire magazine:
"When I heard there was someone else doing it, there was a moment where I just stopped and stared into nothing for half an hour. But I’m 40. The fact that I’m jealous of someone else playing Batman… I think I should have gotten over it by now."
He went on to state to Yahoo that there is no chance that he will be stepping back into Bruce Wayne's shoes:
"You know, I mean, we did our thing. It's done," he says. "I've got nothing else to offer it."
Batman v Superman will be hit screens from March 23. Christian Bale might be giving it a miss.