Darren Aronofsky Backs Christian Bale Over On-set Rant

by | 05 February 2009

The Wrestler director Darren Aronofsky has said Christian Bale's behaviour when berating a crew member on set was "reasonable".

An audio recording of Bale's rant on the set of Terminator Salvation was leaked earlier this week, with the 35-year-old actor criticising the film's director of photography for walking into his sight-line.

The recording depicts the star of The Dark Knight swearing repeatedly at Shane Hurlbut for compromising a scene involving Bale and Bryce Dallas Howard, with the f-word used 35 times in just over four minutes.

But speaking at the London Film Critics' Circle awards on Wednesday night, Aronofsky said he did not think Bale was "out of line" for the reaction.

"It is a sacred time between action and cut," he told the BBC. "If it was the first time it was excusable, but a second time that ruins it."

Aronofsky, the partner of British actress Rachel Weisz, added: "Sets are very, very high-powered places where things go awry all the time and emotions are high.

"People are out there working really hard and exposing themselves, especially actors, and they need to be protected."

He went on: "Although it's never good to lose your temper that bad for obvious reasons, we don't know what scene he was doing.

"He could have been doing a deeply, deeply intense emotional scene."

Bale has not commented on the tape but Bruce Franklin, the associate producer of Terminator Salvation, came to the actor's defence.

"It was the most emotional scene in the movie," he told E! News.

"He is very intensely involved in his character. He didn't walk around like that all day long. It was just a moment and it passed."


05/02/2009 12:15:44


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Tags: Christian Bale - Bryce Dallas Howard - Rachel Weisz - Terminator


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Comments

PrivateAxis's picture

PrivateAxis

Why is it okay for highly paid people to act like this? If a normal person in a regular job went off like this to anyone (a co-worker, boss, or customer), they would likely be fired. Most of us have stressful moments at work, but learn to control the boiling rage. Aronofsky defending this behavior makes me wonder what a yelling jerk he's probably like on set. When I first heard this tape it was on a popular entertainment news show, and the host said something like, "It wasn't like this guy was just a schlub crewman, he was the DIrector of Photography!" As though it's okay to harangue the lowly stage guys, but not the DP! Sometimes I'm ashamed to live in a culture where this kind of behavior seems to completely acceptable... for some, but not the vast majority of us.
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Reticuli's picture

Reticuli

Hah, Darren's reaction was exactly the same as mine I posted on IMDB as benjaminwg. Uncanny.No, you don't get it. The DP is the absolute last person who is going to get any slack for pulling that kind of crap multiple times. In fact, he and the other above the line pros are expected to prevent those types of interruptions from the other crew who might not know better. Then after the cinematographer pulls this repeatedly, he continues to talk back to Bale making excuses when hes putting him in his place. The fact that not a single other above the line crew stood in for Bale or backed him up is evidence of their collective inexperience. Sure, by the end of the shoot the crew had grown professionally and Im sure they all respect each other now just fine, but at that moment Bale's frustration was clearly the result of a larger issue with the set's etiquette and a general lack of professionalism by a group of film workers who had gotten involved in a project way out of their league. Bale being a good guy still felt bad after the outburst, apologized, and the project finished. But he was really not unjustified, and it's a disgrace the lead actor, especially one of Bale's caliber, had to be the one to put the guy in his place. Unbelievably bad form for the Director, 1st AD, and all the producers around not to have shielded the actors from having to do that themselves.Your comparison to "normal" life is also wrong. Films are extraordinary workplaces, with an unbelievable symphony of jobs occurring to finish a project and it's only with the best synergy you end up with a final product that was worth the effort. It is not like any other field on the planet, and practically everyone on the planet wants a taste of it. If a marketing firm had a $100 million dollar account, and a senior analyst did something irresponsible that even junior employees know not to do that almost lost the account, you don't think someone would rip him a new one? You think "real" people don't swear? If the fate of the entire company is at stake and that problem analyst talks back to the one person wholl stand up to him, you don't think the situation possibly escalates?Now go back to what Bale is actually doing when he's acting in the new Terminator film... literally psyching himself out to the point he emotionally feels like he's got the weight of human kind on his shoulders and all his loved ones are in danger of murder, put in another situation that never should have occurred, and he's the only pro on set with the gumption to do anything to correct it... That's what you're hearing in that tape. There's some John Connor in his voice, because those neurotransmitter soups cannot just be switched off like a light once those emotions have been built up. The tone of how good guy Christian Bale responds is largely going to be the result of that, but it doesn't mean any outburst was not justified in the first place. He regrets it was that intense, but what do you expect? Actors are not robots.When you can convince people you are another person in a fictional dramatic scene and make your emotions seem absolutely real, you and all the other comedians having a field day with this can have an opinion worth hearing. I just hope the misfits who ran Terminator 4 didn't screw it up, because they got lucky as hell luring Bale into the project. And if it comes off well, that will be the most significant project any of them (other than Bale and Howard) have ever done...by an order of magnitude. The fact the tape has come out after-the-fact like this is another blemish on their conduct, though. They should have kept that under wraps. Whoever leaked it ought to have their careers ended.
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