While Christian Bale has starred in a number of acclaimed films, there's one role that may be his most well-known, that of Bruce Wayne/Batman in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy. And while being so tied to one character or role might be challenging for an actor, Bale says that he cherishes the fact that Batman is the role he will likely be most remembered for. The actor told GQ that Batman is the role that not only made getting future roles a bit easier, but also let him fulfill a childhood dream.
"Batman. What a weirdo, right? Jumping around town at night in a bat outfit. In the same way that people were telling me, 'hey, you can't go play Patrick Bateman, it's career suicide,' and I was like 'bring it on, I definitely wanna do that,' other people also said 'hey, you know, if you play Batman that's it. You're never gonna play anything else again. You will always be Batman.' And I went, 'bring it on. Let's see if that happens.' I just always felt like if I don't have the skill to be able to rise above that then I don't deserve to, either" Bale said. "I absolutely know and cherish the fact that that will be the role I'm probably remembered for most, you know. Every reason, iconic, larger than life role. But I don't view it really as being stopped in the street. For me it was I could pay off my house. That's a huge relief. That was a dream of mine since being a kid so, I really appreciate that. I thank Chris Nolan, no end for that. And we went on to make four films together but the fact that that allowed me to make so many other films… it took nearly a herculean effort to get me cast in American Psycho, post Batman it got a little bit easier for directors to suggest me and financiers to say, 'okay, yeah, we'll take him.'"
Of course, while Bale appreciates what playing Batman did for him personally and professionally, he's also not likely to suit up as the iconic hero again anytime soon — at least not without a very specific requirement being met. The actor recently explained that the only way he'd return to the role is if Nolan had a new story to tell — and if not, he thinks his time as Batman is done.
"The thing for me is that Chris Nolan and I always said, If we're lucky enough to do three, we'll do three and leave it at that," Christian Bale told Inverse. "We were lucky enough to do three and stay true to our word. That's loyalty. You've got to stick to a deal. If Chris came to me and said, 'I've got a new story,' I'd be interested. But other than that, I don't think so."
Bale will next be seen in the upcoming Fox Searchlight release, Amsterdam which opens in theaters on Friday, October 7th.