By now many of us have heard Mr. Bale losing his mind during the shoot of his movie and of course we actors jump to one of a few conclusions, the public of course jumps to their own more devious conclusion. SAG is in the news fighting for a better contract for all us pampered rich actors who have no right to ask for more, right?. Mr. Bale just allows the common man to believe once again that Hollywood is nothing but Diva's who live to make others feel small.
I've done the exact same thing that Mr. Bale did. Not to his extreme and not for as long, but it's happened to me. Someone in your eye line during a scene is distracting. Surely we love our work enough to want it to show up when it's good. Takes in film are sometimes so hard to accomplish, losing one hurts. So I understand what happened. Does it make him a jerk? Yup. Does it make him a prima donna? Yup. Why?
We're all in this together. You get nothing out of alienating your fellow cast and crew mates. Firing people and gutting your crew doesn't make them want to work hard for you. A DP knows where the sight lines are. He knows not to distract the scene. This had to be an oversight. It still cost the movie a take and I''ll bet a difficult one to shoot and the artist in Mr. Bale screamed. Had his tirade been about cold coffee I'd say he's showing us he's just a punk, but in the heat of creating, things matter. What he didn't do was come to a realization that the man in question wasn't trying to sabotage him. This DP made a mistake and if it happened before, as he mentions in the tirade, why didn't Mr. Bale bring it up then?
This is just a silly blow up that young actors everywhere will hear and say "That's what you do when you're as big as Christian Bale." Not consciously, but it will land in their brains and somewhere down the line, if they receive only the medias guide to being a celebrity, they will blow up and make news and defend themselves and garner all the attention that comes from things like this.
Attention from bad behavior has nothing to do with art or making art. It's crap, and yet without some guidance, it will surely happen again, and probably soon. Those of you who took a side in this; us vs them, or actor vs crew…leave it all behind. The dividing line is when you take a movie and all it's creative energy hostage for your ego. It happened here but so briefly it didn't stop the motion of the film. Didn't he want to get right back to making the film? He didn't end the day and shut the set down to call his agent to make sure the set knew he was in charge did he? I'm not aware that he did. Have you ever heard of those episodes? I have.
You the actor will never be more important than doing your part of the process in making the script come alive.
If you do get those thoughts and suddenly realize you are more important than just making the words come alive, know that you are no longer creating art, you're creating publicity.