I was talking to a friend the other day who ran into Tom Hanks at a restaurant. I thought to myself, that’s pretty cool, I’m not usually star struck, but there are a couple famous actors like Hanks that would be pretty crazy to meet in person. Vacationing in SoCal, we usually see someone when we go to certain areas: Josh Groban, Ethan Suplee from My Name is Earl, Tony Danza, others that I recognize but don’t know there names, sports figures, etc. I usually just elbow Jacinda and say, “hey, there’s so and so” and let them go about there life as normal as possible. I recently read this interview between Esquire magazine’s John H. Richardson and Christian Bale. It was long but, actually fascinating.
Bale talks a lot about how he tries to keep his personal life separate from his public life. In fact the restaurant that they meet at is something that he basically pulled out of a hat, somewhere he’d never been before, just so that he wouldn’t have any personal attachment to the place.
It’s an interesting give and take between egomaniac and private family man. One of the stranger movie star like requests is that the whole interview is done in Q & A style. He doesn’t want someone else telling his story he says… Then, next thing you know, he talks about how he spent the whole morning being the audience for his daughter’s singing and dancing and how he likes to be invisible.
The most interesting part was his internal struggle of who he is versus who he is portraying. He doesn’t like “method acting” because he says, “it’s very limiting if I have to be able to relate every d*^n thing in somebody else’s life to something that’s happened in mine. At the end of the day, I’m faking it.” I often feel like actors take themselves way too seriously, so it was refreshing to hear him talk about this side of it. Then he starts talking about going to far into characters and losing himself. When the interviewer questions him by saying: “But you’re a f*%#&&g actor! You’re in the self business!”
Bale’s reply was what I thought most interesting:
“It’s the opposite of self! It’s actually saying, ‘I don’t stand a chance being myself. I’ve gotta create somebody else in order to communicate. If I remove myself from all of my own memories and inhibitions and create another character — holy s^*t! I can reach out and communicate that way.’ So to me, it’s actually about trying to f%&(#$g destroy the self, and then you might be able to hit something. There’s some quote, I think it’s Oscar Wilde, ‘an artist puts nothing of himself into his art.’
The interviewer fights him on the point coming back at him with Scorsese, saying he is all over his work, but Bale answers, “he’s the director!”
One more. Towards the end of the article he talked about how he likes to be “invisible” (an actor? Invisible?), but then he secures his point, “you do get to become invisible as an actor.”
I’ve always thought it was interesting when some celebrity fronts a cause or some political platform because, we really have no idea who they are. Or, especially when someone is obsessed with a certain person. I’ll admit that I like Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin, Ryan Reynolds, & Ryan Gosling as actors, but I really have no idea who they are, so why would I ever put a them on a pedestal or turn my worship towards them? All we really know about them is how good they are at memorizing some words, repeating those words with emotion, and moving around the way the director tells them too.
They are just normal people who we pay to entertain us…