Christian Bale didn’t feel very confident when he first auditioned for Batman Begins.
Although many believe he delivered the definitive version of the Caped Crusader in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, Bale admitted that he felt like an “idiot” during the audition. In order to get into the role, the actor decided to play around the character’s voice.
“I got there [for an audition]. They put me in Val Kilmer’s [‘Batman Forever’] suit. It didn’t even fit properly, and I stood in it and I went ‘I feel like an idiot.’ What kind of guy walks around, dressed like a bat? And is then going to go ‘Hello, how are you? Just ignore that I’m dressed as a bat,” he told MTV News.
In order to properly sell himself on the role, Christian Bale decided to mess around with Batman’s voice. While some people believe this added quite a bit to the character’s mystique, others strongly felt it was a complete and utter distraction. Regardless of public opinion, Bale admitted that it was the only way he could “justify wearing the fricking Batsuit.”
“Of course, he’s meant to be doing this if you look at the history of the guy and the pain that he went through. I went ‘I can’t do this in a normal voice.’ I have to become a beast in order to sell this to myself. I went home that evening, and my wife said, ‘How’d it go?’ I went, ‘I kind of did this.’ And I showed her, and she went, ‘Oh, you f***ed that one up, didn’t you?’ Thank God they went for it.”
Those who picked up the The Dark Knight Trilogy: Ultimate Collector’s Edition box set now have Christian Bale’s audition in their personal collection. Although the clip made the rounds online a few months ago, Warner Bros. quickly put a stop to all that pesky sharing.
During an interview about Bale’s audition, director Christopher Nolan said it was the actor’s decision to give the character such a deep and gravely voice.
“Well, the testing process on this kind of performance is not about acting ability or chemistry or any of those things. It about being able to project this extraordinary iconography from the inside,” the acclaimed filmmaker explained.
Nolan continued, “[Christian Bale] figured out before the [‘Batman Begins’] screen test that you could not give a normal performance, an ordinary performance. You had to project massive energy through this costume.”
Are you a fan of the voice Christian Bale used in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy?
[Image via Warner Bros. Pictures]