Amsterdam: Christian Bale distanced himself from Chris Rock on set as the comedian broke his concentration

Christian Bale, Chris Rock

David O. Russell is a director who likes a big ensemble cast and has a usual stable of actors. And when new names mix in with the usuals, it’s fun to see what a swirl in the talent pool can produce. In his new movie, Amsterdam, he welcomes back Robert DeNiro and Christian Bale while bringing in names like Margot Robbie, John David Washington, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Rami Malek. But it was the inclusion of comedian Chris Rock that would throw a wrench into Christian Bale’s performance.

Variety recently reports on the former Dark Knight having trouble staying in character for the film with Rock on set telling jokes. Bale mentions in an interview with IndieWire,

I remember his first day. I was excited to meet him. I’m a big fan of his standup. Then he arrives, and he’s doing some things. David [O. Russell] told him to tell me some stories that I didn’t know he was gonna tell me, which is the way David works often. And I was loving it. But Chris is so bloody funny, and I found that I couldn’t act because I was just becoming Christian laughing at Chris Rock. So I had to go to him. I went, ‘Mate, I love talking to you, and we have mutual friends, but I can’t do it anymore. Because David didn’t ask me to make this film so he could just watch me giggle. He wants me to be Burt, and I’m forgetting how to be Burt.’”

Bale is notorious for his method acting and extreme transformations into characters. He famously put his physique through a series of changes to embody the image of a role, from very fit, to unhealthily thin, to very overweight. In recent years, Bale looks to have become less intense and particularly distanced himself from the dark roles that defined his early career as he tackles more material with levity. 

Bale explains that he would isolate himself from co-stars regularly, “I often meet these incredible people, but I isolate myself. Because if I get to know people too much, I find I just don’t believe what I’m doing in the scene.”

Amsterdam is due to hit theaters on October 7.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h28PLPzbADY

Source: Variety

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E.J. is a News Editor at JoBlo, as well as a Video Editor, Writer, and Narrator for some of the movie retrospectives on our JoBlo Originals YouTube channel, including Reel Action, Revisited and some of the Top 10 lists. He is a graduate of the film program at Missouri Western State University with concentrations in performance, writing, editing and directing.