Christian Bale phones a young fan

Actor Christian Bale had a conversation with Zach, a young fan of his "Batman" who happens to have cancer, and is a patient in a Seattle hospital. Zach's parents video'd the exchange. It's pretty cool. Bale seems like a really empathetic person.

(HT: @EWGradySmith)



    1. That rant was worth it just for the memes it generated. This was me for the next six months:

      Spouse: I made tacos for dinner.
      Me: Oh, GOOOOOOOOOOOD for YOUUUUUUUU. Fuck’s sake, man, you’re amateur.
      Spouse: What?!
      Me: You’re a nice guy. You’re a nice guy, but that don’t fuckin’ cut it when you’re fuckin’ around on set.

      Being nice to kids with cancer is just the icing on the cake, as far as I’m concerned.

    2. How would you like it if one of your “bad days” was recorded, became common knowledge, and some dingus decided to remind everyone about it every time you did something nice for someone?

      1. I think my post was quite measured. Someone was going to bring up his rant, I thought I did so in a fair way, realizing that we all make mistakes, myself included.

        But, to answer your question, it would bother me. But I’d still manage to sleep at night (in my bed covered in money and filled with beautiful women).

      2.  Whaaaaa. cry me a river. He’s a douchebag.  Backpedalling for years to get some good press after that. What you DON’T understand is that the sound guy recorded him THAT time. Probably because he does it all the time and they were sick of it. If I had the oppurtunity to make millions playing make believe I sure wouldn’t act like that, and I sure wouldn’t get all upset if I did go off and someone recorded me. With the limelight comes a responsibility to not be a douche. If you blow that off, you deserve it. You can’t be famous and have privacy. Sorry, one or the other.

          1. The light guy was guilty of incompetence at the most, nothing more.

            That does not give a millionaire. … ughh, never mind.

          2. The guy he was yelling at was the DP: the director of photography. It’s one of the top roles on a film shoot. Bale wasn’t freaking out at a grip or script assistant. And given the number of relatively big titles Hurlbut has been DP on, he’s a millionaire too.

          3. I’m well aware of the circumstances guys, even if they DP was incompetent the way he chose to express his displeasure shows me he is a douchebag.

        1. I don’t really give a shit whether he’s a “douchebag” or not.  I’m not personally invested in celebrities one way or the other. What I do take exception with is following a person around (metaphorically, in this case) and constantly pointing out mistakes that he (or she) made at one point in their life. It’s hypocritical for any actual human and immature to boot. 

          1. How many celebrities will actually go to a hospital this year, bringing gifts for sick kids and their parents? Lots. And how many of them will be blogged about on BB? Probably none.

            I submit that the only reason this was blogged about is simply because Bale is an ass.

          2. This was blogged about because it’s about life and death and kindness and Batman.  Those are all important things. 

          3. …or because the person that posted the video about a kid dealing with cancer is currently dealing with cancer.  Or maybe it’s because that person happens to like the celebrity in question.  Or like most things in real life, all of the above and nothing so specific and simplistic as what fits your personal narrative. 

        2. You’re assuming he’s a douche, assuming he “does it all the time”, and assuming he always has that attitude and is just faking being a nice guy.

          I’d rather not assume people are dicks when they’re calling kids in the hospital.

        3. You’re acting like it’s some mortal sin for grown-ass professional men to yell at each other; it’s not like the guy waltzed into an orphanage and started screaming at orphans. He didn’t become an Oscar winning actor by hugging everyone whenever they messed up. Get over it.

          1. He didn’t become an Oscar winning actor by hugging everyone whenever they messed up.

            And yet, Meryl Streep seems to have won three Oscars while doing just that. She must be a sorceress.

          2. It never occurred to me that Glamour magazine started out as a journal of practical witchcraft.

          1.  Well, this is a discussion forum. I think the point is to discuss stuff, and in this area it’s about Christian Bale- . Some of us lately think might be overcompensating for being a dick. I don’t think anyone’s mad except maybe Bale and you.

      1. He was verbally abusive, yes.

        Was his rant filled with hate-speech? Did he drive drunk? Did he beat his domestic partner? Did he touch kids? No.

        He lost his temper and flipped his shit. Is that right? No. Is he the dregs of humanity, unworthy of consideration of forgivness? Hardly.

        Let he who hath never irrationally lost their temper cast the first stone.

        1. What a lovely world we live in where we are only defined by our best moments, and none of the worst.

          Maybe if someone looks at me funny while at the gas station tonight, I just might go “bad day” on their ass.

          1. I’m the one who brought up the rant. My whole point is that things are grey-scale, not black or white. He isn’t a saint or a devil, neither am I, and I doubt you’re either as well. We all (mostly) have our moments, good and bad.

          2. Absolutely! And I suspect the folks that I have crossed still consider me an asshole.

            And as a side note, my WORST day I have NEVER treated anyone like that. Maybe the family I was raised in or the area I was raised sheltered me from people that accept Bale’s hysterics as “just a bad day”.

        2. Well, he was arrested once for assaulting his mother and sister, although it’s not clear what really happened.

          1. It was “verbal assault” which they investigate in Great Britain where it happened. That means they got in an argument. And charges were never filed. I’ll bet you’ve never had an argument with a family member, have you?

    3. I used to really think Bale was a dick after I heard that recording.

      Then I met the DP he freaked out at.

      I can _totally_ imagine freaking out at the guy. Ever since then, seeing Bale meet some of the victims from that theater shooting, now this — I’m going to go with him being a generally pretty cool guy, and the DP probably really had it coming.

      1.  Then again, I’m sure if some peasant recorded Harbut being a dick on set and emailed it to some gossip site the only place it would go is into the Trash. C’est la vie… 

      2. Please elaborate on the DP, because that’s an interesting question I’ve had. Never heard of a DP moving lights during a shot and I’ve often wondered in what case it could possibly be ok. That aside, even if the DP stepped on Bales foot during a crying scene, the way Bale handled it was low class. That, coupled with the domestic abuse allegations leads me NOT to assume, but to pretty much know douchebag when I smell one. These PR attempts lead me to comment.

  1. Would have been so much better if he started screaming bloody murder at the kid…

    The post says he’s empathetic? Did you not see his shennanigans on T3? He’s been doing this nice guy stuff for a couple years now. Undoubtedly forced to by his agent if he wants to get any other work. Sorry, I don’t buy it. The guy’s a douchebag- as a lot of “stars” tend to be.

    1. “Undoubtedly forced to by his agent if he wants to get any other work.”

      As they say on Wikipedia, [citation needed].

        1. He was never charged with assault.  He was accused of assault by his mother and sister, with who he is estranged, but never charged.  That is all we know.  I doubt that will assuage your thirst for judgment, but that’s all we know. 

          And the idea that an actor as respected by his peers as Bale is could be “forced by his agent” to do good deeds in order “to get any other work,” is beyond silly.

        1. No URL shorteners please, unless they’re obvious, proprietary ones like YouTube or Google Maps.

          1. Disqus automatically truncates it, so it’s unnecessary. And the spammers all use URL shorteners that go to attack pages these days.

    2. Dude, he could murder the kid and Hollywood would still sign him up for any role where he’d bring in the viewers. 

    3. If he was that big a douche bag HE WOULD NOT BE GETTING WORK.  

      Kapeesh? His life is not better than yours because he sold his sold to satan, he actually worked for it.

      Deal with it already,  Yeeesh.  

      1. How Naive. Plenty of douches get work in Hollywood because of things other than their sparkling personality. A lot of people who look good playing make believe in storybook land are really assholes in life. That stops no one from wanting to hire them. Make believe land makes money, and they don’t actually have to be on set with them. BTw, when did I say his life was better than mine? Project much?

          1.  Not really, I saw Terminator 4. Do you know he made the writers completely re-write the screenplay to give him a bigger part. Sounds like an angel…

          2. Oh how dare he tamper with the artistic vision of T4. !!!!!

            Bale has been getting good roles for 25 years (since he was 14) has an Academy Award and a Golden Globe.

            Haters gotta hate! 

          1.  You keep mentioning his awards. I actually like his acting, btw. I thought American Psycho was brilliant. The point is: Acting awards are about a 1 on the 1 to 10 scale of things think mean something. If he won an award for curing some kid’s cancer I would be impressed. The original discussion was “Christian Bale: Asshole in real life or not?”  I say yes, people like you say no. Awards Schmards. All the Oscars in the world doesn’t make someone a nice person.

    4. Wait, in what alternate reality does Hollywood hire actors based on their moral compass? 

      Shit, Woody Allen married his adopted daughter. Roman Polanski raped a 13 year old girl. Mel Gibson was arrested for a DUI and called the sergeant “sugar tits”. Sean Penn assaults photographers. 

      Bale could have taken a shit in a baby carriage and still would end up winning an Oscar.

          1. Just correcting a commonly held misconception. “Creepy” is fairly subjective, though I would agree that it was inconsiderate and inappropriate at the time.  Fortunately, they’ve been together for 20 years and married for 15, so hopefully that will take some of the pressure off of folks who seem to stress out over the behavior of celebrities.

  2. Jesus, all the people calling Bale a douchebag.  People who work at a high level in the arts are and have always been highly-strung, eccentric and egocentric individuals.  Those of us who work pretty anonymous stations in life HAVE to be nice and polite – who’d tolerate us otherwise?  Get back to me when you’re internationally recognized for what you do and and you’re name is worth millions, and if you still have better manners than Bale on a bad day, maybe then I’ll be impressed. 

    1. He’s an actor. That’s much closer to ‘carny’ than to ‘doctor’ or ‘teacher’. For the amount of money that he makes, he can suck it up.

      1. Oi! Carny here. He was probably just in character, and while it’s not too difficult to be in character, it’s not too easy to do it really, really well. Someone being disruptive on set is a distraction, and unnecessary; working on set you should know to be damn quiet when the scenes are running. It’s not that performers’ time is something special – we’re just entertainers, after all, and what we produce is often lightweight and short lived – but the performance is the reason everyone involved even has a job that week, and the pressure’s on to make the whole thing work well or nobody gets paid. If you’re fucking about past a reasonable limit, you’ll get torn into and rightly so. How else do you get better at your job?
        I’d be interested in how Bale behaved off set towards the guy he bawled out. I haven’t seen any other evidence of him being a douche, and a few things that make him seem decent. Am I missing something?

    2. > People who work at a high level in the arts are and have always been highly-strung, eccentric and egocentric individuals. 

      That’s the stereotype, yeah… but I don’t see that much evidence it’s actually true.

      I’m not sure if the stories in this book are totally accurate, but it sure seems like he’s much more of an asshole than most actors:

  3. I agree with everyone calling him a douchebag. He made one mistake that was recorded and has since done a lot of nice guy things, but it makes me feel better as a human being to put him down for that one thing and assume that all making up since then has been at the behest of his agent in spite of the fact that I have no evidence to back that up.

    Makes perfect sense to me, but I’m just your run-of-the-mill Boing Boing commenter.

  4. Hey! Let’s take this awesome thing and ruin it everyone!

    No, actually, let’s not.  GG Christian Bale, 01/25/2013, never forget.

  5. “Do you like Huey Louis And The News?”

    I have to wonder if some people are still trying to take Bale down over starring in “American Psycho,” which was an excellent thriller and quite conventional, but it was based on a novel that was wildly controversial and (according to its critics, since I haven’t read it) violently misogynist.

  6. This would make an excellent Onion headline:

    “Christian Bale described as “a famous douchebag” by anonymous douchebag on internet.”

  7. According to Wikipedia: “Feminist activist Gloria Steinem was among those opposed to the release of Ellis’ book because of its portrayal of violence toward women. Steinem is also the stepmother of Christian Bale, who played Bateman in the film.”

    FWIW (not much), I thought the movie was quite good, satirical, and not misogynistic…

  8. I really don’t know anything about Christian Bale outside of seeing some of his movies, but I have to say that was a super nice thing to do.  I didn’t even watch the whole video but the whole idea got me teary eyed.  Certainly, a great time for young Zach. 

  9. Whether or not he is an idiot or douchebag or whatever is immaterial in this case. He has made a seriously ill kid forget his illness for a few minutes. Past activity based upon a snapshot of his life is not enough to judge him on. We all have good days and bad days.

    I hate all religion but in this case I think it’s a fair to quote “Let He Who Is Without Sin Cast The First Stone”, I am sure no one is perfect.

    1. And it seems strange that people make large, sweeping judgements because of one audio clip (unless I’m missing something). I can have a bit of a temper in the right circumstances. HULK SMASH. And I am not a terrible person.

    2.  You’re hitting on what I was thinking about.  The guy called a sick kid to offer some distraction and comfort form a bad situation, and he was uniquely able to do so since they’re both Batman fans. Regardless of tempers lost in the past or maybe lost again in the future, he did a cool and selfless thing talking to a kid in the hospital about what the kid loves.  Maybe fervent debates about his douchieness or lack thereof could be set aside for this particular instance and just acknowledge the kind act and what it probably meant to that kid.

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