Following an impressive run as Batman in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, Christian Bale is now set to transition to the Marvel world with a role as the main antagonist in Thor: Love and Thunder. Bale's acting methods have grown to almost urban legend status over the years, and now, he has the opportunity to deliver another top-notch performance in the MCU's next theatrical release.
Bale will play the MCU's Gorr the God Butcher, one of Marvel Comics' most terrifying villains, and his version of the character is already receiving rave reviews from his peers ahead of the film's debut. Fans got their first full look at Gorr in action during the second full trailer for Thor 4, although that should only be a taste of what's to come from his vengeful villain in his debut MCU debacle.
Bale has already earned plenty of praise for his work as Gorr from his colleagues, which was the same sentiment that came from fans after seeing him on screen for the first time.
On top of that, it appears that the actor adds even more than just a brilliant performance, as noted by his co-stars in a recent chat about Thor 4.
Thor 4 Stars on Bale's On-Set Behavior
In the Summer 2022 issue of Disney’s D23 Magazine obtained by The Direct, Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson looked back on their experience working with Christian Bale on Thor: Love and Thunder.
Calling Bale's performance "brilliant," Hemsworth remembered how scary everything felt the moment that Bale walked onto the set, even in the middle of something more fun and light-hearted:
“The rest of us would be in our world of improvisation, comedy, and fun - then he’d walk on set, and we’d all look at each other and say ‘Oh, my God! This is really intense. This is really scary.'”
Thompson praised Bale for his ability to mix his terrifying performance as Gorr with a more "colorful, snappy, irreverent world" that was surrounding him in Gorr's quest for vengeance:
“(Bale) toed this really great line, because he needs to be terrifying, but he also needs to work in the context of our colorful, snappy, irreverent world.
Hemsworth revealed how Bale surprised the rest of the crew by behaving "totally normal" in between his villainous scenes, remembering how the former Batman star would talk "about what he did over the weekend or how the surf is" and described his process as "fascinating."
Moving to Thor: Love and Thunder as a whole, Thompson shared some insight into how the film is so much different while making it than what initially appeared in the script. The Valkyrie star looked at how every day is unique with each new thing that comes every day with every scene:
“There’s so much we film that isn’t on the page. The movie is one thing when you receive the script; it’s an entirely different thing when you film it; and then it becomes another thing in the edit. Every day on set is an adventure, because we never know where a scene is going to take us.”
Hemsworth added to that commentary, discussing how he and the cast worked with director Taika Waititi to "surprise" the audience at every turn. He also gave the director props for giving everyone latitude to accomplish that goal, teasing how similar it was to their last project together with Thor: Ragnarok:
“We had to dig deep within Taika’s brain and say ‘Come on! How can we surprise, impress, and disorientate our audience?’ He did it masterfully, and he gave all the actors a huge playing field to achieve that. We had so much fun on Ragnarok, and that was the North Star for this: ‘If we’re not enjoying it, fans are not going to enjoy it.’ With Taika, it’s always such a fantastic, fun, enjoyable, exciting set.
Bale Making His MCU Mark
Christian Bale has built a name for himself as one of the top actors of this generation, particularly for his devotion to his craft from both a physical and emotional perspective. On top of that, he appears to have ingratiated himself beautifully with his new MCU co-stars, showing a mastery of his craft as Gorr the God Butcher while making production a fun time for everybody involved.
Quotes like these prove how similar these actors are to the fans who watch their movies as they try to make their work environment the best it can be for them and their coworkers. Seeing Bale make that kind of impact on some of the MCU's biggest names, especially veterans who have been around the block a few times, speaks volumes about what fans should expect from a chemistry perspective.
How the rest of his performance translates to the big screen is still a mystery, but Hemsworth and Thomson are amongst a big group of people looking forward to seeing what Bale brings to the table in this sequel.
Thor: Love and Thunder is set to premiere in theaters on July 8. Tickets for the film will be available for purchase on Monday, June 13.