Christian Bale: releasing obscene rant audio was a breach of creative trust


Christian Bale is still talking about his obscenity-filled rant at a crew member. The incident happened last year, during filming of Terminator: Salvation, but the audio of the rant didn’t come out until February of this year. Bale apologized for the incident, and for the most part kept his head down as everyone from film producers to Bale’s family freaked out. It was pretty good crisis-management on Bale’s part, but it seems like his apology tour isn’t over.

Bale sat down for an interview with Total Film, and his comments about the incident are revealing. First, he takes full responsibility for what happened, saying that he went “overboard”. I think “overboard” might be too light of a sentence, Bale – I would say “massive hissy fit” or “childish, unprofessional temper tantrum”, but those are just semantics. Then Bale blames the sound people on Terminator for releasing the audio – a bold move.

Christian Bale has claimed that the sound engineers who secretly recorded his Terminator Salvation rant betrayed his “magic circle” of trust.

The audio clip of Bale screaming abuse at the film’s director of photography became a YouTube hit when it was leaked online in February. It featured 39 F-words and Bale threatening to quit the film after the hapless Shane Hurlbut accidentally wandered into shot. Bale’s rant inspired a number of online spoofs and mash-ups with the actor’s expletive-laden tirade put to music.

Breaking his silence about the incident in an interview with Total Film, Bale, 35, said: “Hey, I did what I did. I’m not hiding from that. I went overboard. But there is an essential trust and it’s not a tacit one, it’s a verbal one, a spoken one, which is [that] every sound guy says, ‘We are not only not recording, we’re not even listening.’”

“So, well, there goes that. I do stress, though, it’s not in any way a trust that’s there to cover up bad behaviour. It’s not about that. It’s an essential trust that’s needed for creativity.”

Asked if he was worried that the story would affect audiences’ enjoyment of Termination Salvation, the Batman star replied: “Yeah. It’s not in anyone’s interest to know that much. I understand people are interested, I get that they want to hear about it, but to me I look at it as old-school movie magic and with magic you do not reveal your secrets.”

“You really make people work to find those secrets and generally you just reveal it to people who are going to join your f***ing magic circle and then you know about it. And you know, for me, I’ve never been comfortable with the revealing of those mysteries which I think are wonderful mysteries.”

Bale added: “I’m not making any excuses, I’m not whining, I’m not going, ‘Oh well, if it hadn’t have been for that…’ Hey, listen, I did it, it’s in the public space. Hey, I take the consequences for it. But it’s that. It’s a creative trust.”

Terminator Salvation is the fourth instalment in the franchise, although Bale would prefer people to call it the Terminator “mythology” because “franchise just sounds so money-minded. McDonalds is a franchise”. It opens on June 3.

[From The Telegraph]

Ordinarily, I would think Bale is trying to blame the sound guys for the whole of the controversy, but I tend to think he has a point. He’s taken his knocks, and now he’s not saying it’s the sound guys’ fault for the incident, just the way the incident became public. It is about trust, and most actors need to trust a film’s crew with a lot of personal stuff. As overwhelmingly unprofessional as Bale was in that audio, it was also unprofessional, and a breech of professional trust, to release the tape.

In any case, I doubt Bale was hurt by the incident in the long run. He’s still an in-demand actor, and now members of the crew know better than to walk into his shot. The trailers for Terminator: Salvation makes the film look really good, although it’s probably a bit too reliant on special effects rather than story.

Here’s Christian Bale taking his 4 year old daughter Emmaline to gymnastics in Los Angeles on April 15th. Images thanks to Pacific Coast News.

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41 Responses to “Christian Bale: releasing obscene rant audio was a breach of creative trust”

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  1. lisa says:

    He should not have ranted in front of loads of people then. It is fair game at that point because you know someone is going to have a cell phone with video. All the blame is on him, in my opinion, and he looks like a bigger fool with his little side note of blame.

  2. geronimo says:

    Breech of creative trust? Bullshit. In the normal scheme of things, he has every right to expect trust from those he’s working with. These weren’t normal circs and I bet the sound guys did it out of angry solidarity with their colleague. And released it as a gesture of their disgust at his treatment of a fellow technician. Wonder did Bale ever think about it from that angle? Probably not, too busy thinking about how it affected him and his career. He deserved this and, much as I like him as an actor, he’s now in the Sean Penn douche-as-a-person corner.

  3. Iris says:

    I don’t think the audio tape should have been released. he was in an intense scene in a movie, completely in character, and the lighting guy decides to just saunter into the background and change the bulbs? I’d be pissed, too, especially as he had done it before. even the director of the movie defended Bale in an interview he gave and criticized the lighting director.

    Bale yelled at a person while his mic was on because he was in the middle of acting, and so it was very much a breach of creative trust to release that clip.

  4. JohnnieR says:

    Sorry, I’m siding with the crew on this one. I could bet that this was not the first display of ill-treatment towards the crew by yet another egocentric ass of an actor. I’m willing to bet that Bale crossed the line big time with the crew in regards to his utterly a**hole-ic tantrum on-set, and yes, the crew got their revenge on Bale – big time. I say, good for them. I know first-hand that these hard working boys and girls stick together. An eye for an eye…

  5. Codzilla says:

    geronimo/lisa/Johnnie: Absolutely agree with you all. His behavior was despicable and it’s impossible for me to muster any sympathy for someone who treats another person like that. We all snap from time to time, but his rant was so far beyond the boundaries of reason that he should just keep his goddamn mouth shut and be thankful he excelled in a career where that kind of behavior doesn’t get your ass fired. Can you imagine how he treats his family behind the scenes, when he’s not on tape?

  6. JohnnieR says:

    Bale: “You really make people work to find those secrets and generally you just reveal it to people who are going to join your f***ing magic circle and then you know about it. And you know, for me, I’ve never been comfortable with the revealing of those mysteries which I think are wonderful mysteries.”

    Oh, PLEASE! Spare us the horsesh*t, Bale.

  7. Wow says:

    No, Christian it wasn’t a breech of trust. It was just you being an a$$hole.

  8. vicsmith says:

    I agree with Iris. And I seriously doubt he treats his wife and daughter that way. They seem very happy together. And he apologized for it.

  9. photo jojo says:

    Kaiser – great writeup.

  10. cakes says:

    Hopefully he learned his lesson. You can’t treat people like that. I know everyone has their breaking point and its easy to lash out when you’re frustrated. That’s when its better to walk away from the situation instead of doing or saying anything you will regret later IMO.

    Side note: he’s really hot.

  11. not_a_strawman says:

    People need to quit being so hypocritical. He’s human. Everyone gets angry. If you heard yourself on tape when you’ve calmed down, *you* would be embarrassed.

    With that said, he was a**hole for yelling at the sound guy like that. He was wrong and deserves him lumps.

    However, it was unprofessional for the sound guy to step into the shot AND unprofessional for his buddies to release the audio.

    Overall, there’s wrong all around. BUT I agree most of the blame belongs with Bale.

  12. marie says:

    It’s “breach.”

  13. Tia C says:

    Codzilla, the same thing has occurred to me ever since we first heard about his rant. Wonder what his temper is like when he’s on his own time?

    People with anger issues like that don’t just leave their issues at work at the end of the day. If one has anger issues, they tend to follow you wherever you go. No doubt we’ll be hearing about more Bale temper tantrums in the future…and I don’t think his acting is anything special, either. Obviously he does, though! LOL

  14. Trillion says:

    I’m with Iris.

  15. Giz says:

    You must get some kind of kick back for posting this stuff! And talk about timing. Just in time for the release of Bale’s movie! Another opportunity to sell box office tickets. The timing on this is just ridiculous!

  16. Sarah says:

    I didn’t really understand most of his “creative trust” speech but I get that he is sorry for what happened. Which is all that matters really.

  17. OXA says:

    Being such an egomania is a breech of manner and he is an ass, this time he was outed.

  18. Gemma says:

    I am with Iris&not a straw.
    He is human, he messed up and he offered seemingly sincere apologies. End of the story as far as I am concerned.
    I understand what he says about creative trust. It’s a shame that someone released the tape even though Christian had already apologised to the DP guy the very same day the incident went down.

  19. Lori says:

    It won’t affect the enjoyment of the movie experience for me, but it shows you his true character. But I think you could always kind of tell he was an asshole under the surface. He seems intense thats for sure, he probably does scream at his wife and sister and mother that way.

  20. Obvious says:

    I side on both. Shayne/shawn-whatever had done this more than once. I understand that christian was in character and some of his rage probably came from that, but he did apologize and he was backed up by part of the crew.

    However it was very unprofessional on the part of the soundguys to release this. I’m not saying I have sympathy for ale, hell none deserves sympathy, DP ruined at least 2 shots on this film, but rewarding one unprofessional thing with another is just vindictive.

  21. Ruby says:

    I’m with marie – it looks really bad for the site having that glaring spelling mistake as the header for your article!
    Breech is a baby coming out backwards; breach is when you violate something.

  22. ChristinaT says:

    maybe if you breach the unspoken law of treating people with dignity then you deserve to endure the “breech of creative trust”. dummy… the tape was funny though 😀

  23. I Choose Me says:

    I still don’t think his rant was so bad. It seemed like a straw that broke the camel’s back kind of situation to me. (I’m not proud of it but I once threw a shoe at my husband in a fit of frustrated rage) He apologized to the lighting guy, he apologized for his rant and it’s going to take more than one incident for me to peg him an asshole or to jump to the assumption that he treats his family like that in private.

  24. Zoe (The Other One) says:

    He’s admitted he was an a-hole and it’s job done. He’s in demand as an actor, the guy he shouted at sounds like he wasn’t being altogether professional either so…meh. It makes no odds to me how he behaves, I only go to see his movies because I enjoy them and I ain’t gonna be missing Terminator-The New One for annnnnnything!

    He’s hot.

  25. Thayer says:

    It’s the fact that he went on and on and on for over 4 minutes and couldn’t let it goooooo! Can you imagine being around him or working with him??? Like walking on eggshells ALL THE TIME!!

  26. Feebee says:

    I agree his rant was unacceptable and probably wasn’t his first and won’t be his last. I understand his point with the breach of trust angle, though it could be chalked up to teaching a bully a lesson. I daresay there are a multitude of actors who could up for such a public dressing down… I imagine Julia Roberts could probably get a little pissy… maybe they all could – save for Tom Hanks and Hugh Jackman 🙂

  27. Wormer says:

    I think it’s completely ridiculous for you people to go all out and start judging this man on a personal level, whom none of you have ever met, on a 4 minute clip that was taken out of context.

    Go ahead and judge him as an unprofessional for letting his anger get the best of him at work but to start saying he’s a bad father or verbally abuses his wife is just ridiculous.

  28. lalalala! says:

    For me,there is 4 culprits: the DP(every one knows during a scene be quiet and don’t cramp the actors),Bale who exaggared ,the director who does nothing(it’s his job to control his set)and the production who went out the audio public!( on set,every one sign a confidential agreement!)
    i don’t know how the set was but i think there was a few shambles!

  29. Anna says:

    So he apologized to the guy after the tape came out but did he also apologize to him before that? After it happened before we all knew about it?

    That rant was not normal, I don’t know anyone that would flip out like that. I definitely think he has anger issues.

  30. Zoe says:

    I’ve worked on film sets, both as an actor and in production. I can officially tell you that his rant was extremely unacceptable. I’ve seen some pretty huge name talent on sets and I’ve never seen any of them act out that way. For these people claiming they caught him in a really intense scene, I’m a professionally trained actor and you don’t get to use that excuse to justify treating any human that way. If anything, someone who grew up in the spotlight should know that better than anyone. No one wants to work with someone that explosive and disrespectful, no matter how famous. I believe it will hurt his career, people will find other strong actors that won’t give them a tantrum like that. People on sets have enough problems to deal with and expect professionalism from talent and crew alike. I don’t blame the sound guys for revealing to the world that this man has zero respect for his co-workers and shouldn’t be working until he takes an anger management class. I love how Christian Bale claims he’s not complaining about it right after he just did. Why is it that people with a negative attitude always blame everyone else but themselves for everything?

  31. shadow side says:

    Oh enough with the magic circle crap! He isn’t worried about the audience suffering because the process of movie-making has been demystified. B.S. He’s worried that we all found out he’s a vainglorious jerk. I was happy to accept his apology the first time around, but now I’m mad at him all over again.

  32. Ned says:

    It is a breach of trust and more than that- they harmed the movie by hurting the PR and marketing of that movie and their leading star.

    They were unprofessional by letting this out.
    That is to say the least.

  33. Stephen says:

    I’ve been in the film business 26 years and I believe it was absolutely wrong for the tape to be leaked. Simple principles in any profession do not allow for revenge or retribution. It is well known among crew members in Hollywood who the assholes are and we talk about it amongst ourselves. I have never seen a crew member retaliate for any reason. We don’t go there.

    If I was an actor, I would be leery of working with this sound crew.

  34. paranel says:

    Wow, I didn’t know ranting and acting like a spoiled brat on the set requires ” creative” trust.

  35. jayem says:

    Gimme a break, you guys. He was pissed and he let the guy have it. That’s how you’re supposed to handle things – with your words. He didn’t punch the guy, or, I don’t know, THROW A PHONE AT HIM!

    I don’t see how everyone can be so judgmental. But I’m sure when you all get angry, you write the person a strongly worded missive on how their behavior affected you, right? Right?!?!

  36. me says:

    I’m with Zoe. Good points, well said.

  37. Autumm Leaves says:

    I see both sides of this issue, however, Bale had me at the “magic circle of trust”? Is that anything like the circle of life?

    It’ll change people’s perception of him because he’s no longer a mystery. We’re all human, but actors, especially HIGH PAID actors are held to a higher standard. That’s the breaks of stardom. Now we are aware of his flaming hot temper. But with both Batman & Terminator franchises (that’s what it’s called Bale, franchises, not mythology*rolls eyes*) set to make millions of dollars, unless he pulls an extreme meltdown, he’ll be fine. Those fanbases are established.

    Now I’ll go back to listening to the Bale epic meltdown dance remix for old times sake.

  38. j. ferber says:

    I’m with Geronimo and JohnnieR on this one. Very well-said. I guess by circle of trust he means license to mistreat others with no consequences. I’d say it was a smart check to his alpha dog behavior.

  39. Magsy says:

    The guy’s an a-hole and I think the worst Batman.

  40. FF says:

    It shouldn’t have made it into a public forum really. It should have still been handled appropriately by the director in defense of the crew; but then by the same charge the director shouldn’t have been letting someone tamper with lights while filming was occurring.

    He has a point. If the sound people are taping when they say they aren’t then what about crew filming when they shouldn’t be, like say in a nude scene or something? Are other actors going to want to work with people like that?

    The whole production sounds off.

    I have to say I saw the trailer for this film and it didn’t exactly make me want to see it. I suspect it’s time Cameron came back on board. The Terminator sequels without him have been on the deadening side. Not to mention Christian Bale as John Connor is… well, he’s got too much iconography for the role, imo. Every time I see him playing the character I see ‘Christian Bale playing John Connor’ rather than John Connor.

    I think Bale needs to change his character schtick now or he’s going to turn into a cliche ‘angry man’ actor.

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