With director Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love and Thunder opening in theaters on July 8th, I recently spoke with Christian Bale about playing Gorr the God Butcher in the MCU sequel. During the interview, Bale revealed why he signed on to his first Marvel movie, why he wanted to be able to leave set wearing his makeup, and how the movie had a lot of great deleted scenes. He explains:
“There’s an awful lot that I wish was in this film, which you can’t have a four-hour long film because there’s so much gold that’s on the cutting room floor, hilarious stuff, and creepy as hell stuff, but that was perhaps pushing it to a realm where maybe it wouldn’t have been able to be family friendly, which we always wanted it to be.”
In addition, Bale talked about how he gets ready for a role and why he doesn’t like to prepare for emotional scenes before he films them.
Check out what Bale had to say in the player above, or you can read our conversation below. You can also watch what Chris Hemsworth and Taika Waititi told me about Thor: Love and Thunder’s four-hour cut here.
“Thor: Love and Thunder finds Thor (Hemsworth) on a journey unlike anything he’s ever faced – a quest for inner peace. But his retirement is interrupted by a galactic killer known as Gorr the God Butcher (Bale), who seeks the extinction of the gods. To combat the threat, Thor enlists the help of King Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), Korg (Waititi) and ex-girlfriend Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), who – to Thor’s surprise – inexplicably wields his magical hammer, Mjolnir, as the Mighty Thor. Together, they embark upon a harrowing cosmic adventure to uncover the mystery of the God Butcher’s vengeance and stop him before it’s too late.”
The film also features Peter Quill aka Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Nebula (Karen Gillan), Mantis (Pom Klementieff), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), and Zeus (Russell Crowe).
COLLIDER: First, I want to start with congrats on the movie.
CHRISTIAN BALE: Thank you.
Is this one of these projects that every Marvel fan should be thanking your kids for the reason why you’re in this movie? Because I heard it was a family thing.
BALE: Not just my kid. Every choice is a family thing. But my kids, but Taika, Thor: Ragnarok, JoJo Rabbit, Chris, Natalie, Tessa, the whole lot.
I am a big fan of your work. I’ve told you this a million times.
BALE: Thank you.
I’m so curious how you get ready for an emotional scene or a scene that you know is going to take a lot out of you. So, if you’re filming something on a Monday that you know it’s going to be tough, how early on are you actually breaking that scene down, thinking about it? Could you take me a little bit through your process?
BALE: In honesty, I don’t really do that in detail. I do the whole character for bloody weeks and I’m boring as hell with that. I don’t even actually necessarily read the script itself that much. I’ll go through it a few times, but then I’ll basically go off, and what I want to be prepared for is that I want to be able to turn up on the day and the director says, “You know what, forget everything. Let’s just make it up,” and I’m good and I can just go with it. You know? And so that’s what I focus on. I don’t focus on, “I’ve got to learn my lines. I’ve got to do that.” I never focus on that at all. That sort of just comes somehow. And in terms of emotional stuff, I find it the worst thing in the world to prep for that because you don’t in life the emotions surprise you, right? You never plan on them, otherwise they’re fake. So just let it surprise you, let it happen as it happens if it happens. And if it doesn’t, it doesn’t happen.
One of the things that I love about Taika and Thor and what he’s done with these two movies is literally anything can happen in the movie. Like it could just go off on a weird tangent and I love it.
BALE: He’s sent into galactic tale of ridiculousness. So anything can happen, can’t it?
Right. So, what are you most looking forward to audiences seeing, or what was something that you saw in this film that you were like, “I can’t believe this is in this film?”
BALE: There’s an awful lot that I wish was in this film, which you can’t have a four-hour long film because there’s so much gold that’s on the cutting room floor, hilarious stuff, and creepy as hell stuff, but that was perhaps pushing it to a realm where maybe it wouldn’t have been able to be family friendly, which we always wanted it to be. But Taika’s sensibility, the comedy, the tragedy, the ability to have the Taika-ness and the humor of that. But he’s got great sincerity as well. He’s a real artist. And so, man, it’s moving. That is the bloody surprising thing with this film. It’s a very moving film and then two seconds later, you’re laughing your ass off.
You are really scary to look at in the film. How much did you want to leave set and go to the Starbucks and just walk through wearing everything that you’re wearing?
BALE: I was dying to do that. And sometimes also the call times were so close together that we actually went, “Should I even bother taking the makeup off?” But they said to me, “Please, God, don’t be driving home in your makeup because we don’t want the first image of Gorr to be driving your Honda Civic up the street.” All right. “Best foot forward, please, Christian.” So take it off before you leave the studio.
On that note, sir, thank you so much for talking with me. I wish you nothing, but the best.
Thor: Love and Thunder opens in theaters July 8.