Exclusive! Christian Bale: The Soft Man Behind A Tough Batman

Christian Bale YourTango exclusive

'The Dark Knight Rises' star on intense fight scenes & stepping into his Batsuit for the last time.

Even a superhero like Batman needs a moment.

That was the case for actor Christian Bale during his last moments as the Caped Crusader.

"I needed a few minutes alone before I started playing Batman many years ago and I ended it the same way," says the handsome, 38-year-old actor who arrives in his suite at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills in a dark suit that makes it look like he just stepped out of a fashion magazine ad.

In person, Bale is a serious guy with a dash of dark hair and a smile that's slow in arriving – he's just that serious about his craft.

Tomorrow, he will end his reign as the guy in tights and a cape as The Dark Knight Rises comes to theaters. We chatted with him to get his take on the emotional journey:

Do you remember the first time you ever put on the Batsuit?
The first time I put on the Batman suit, I couldn't breathe. I couldn't think. I was about to have a nervous breakdown and a panic attack. I told (director) Christopher Nolan, "I love the role, but you're going to have to re-cast it." 5 Reasons We Love Christian Bale As Batman

Then you asked to be alone?
Yes, I stood there for 20 minutes all by myself thinking, "OK, I'd really like to make this movie. I'd like to be able to get through this moment here, too."  I stood there thinking, "Be very calm. Maybe you can get through this." That's how claustrophobic I felt.

Now, how did you feel the last time you put it on for The Dark Knight Rises?
It was a very similar feeling, although the suit has been improved and it's far more comfortable now. I've lost the panic attack feeling, because in the last suit I could rip it off myself if I started to see stars.

Tell us about your last scene as Batman.
My last scene was with Anne Hathaway as Catwoman. We were on a roof in New York City. I wrapped and went back to base camp. I just sat in a room and said, "Can you leave me alone for 20 minutes." I sat there again thinking, "OK, this is it." But this time I added, "I will never take that cowl off again." It was a real moment of pride too because of what we had achieved. We did what we set out to do. It was a very important character to the fans, and me, which makes me very proud. The movies not only changed my life, but my career and I appreciate that very much.

More juicy content from YourTango:



Expert advice

Save your breath because you only need two words to make him commit.
Are you REALLY thinking about their happiness?
If you keep finding yourself in heartbreaking, dead end relationships, listen up.
It seems like you can't do anything right.