Actor Christian Bale only landed the role in RESCUE DOWN because he was willing to eat snakes and maggots, according to director Werner Herzog. The German-born filmmaker was reluctant to use special effects in the movie so was only prepared to cast an actor who was willing to bite a snake in half to make the role appear believable. And Bale managed the feat without hesitation. Herzog says, "He (Bale) had wanted to work with me for a long time and the first question I asked him was this: 'are you willing to bite a snake in half?' Because the audience must be able to trust their eyes. When you see Christian catch the snake and bite it, you know immediately this is not a digital trick or special effects. And when he eats live maggots earlier in the movie everybody can see it's not a trick."