Christian Bale gets all Gotham on ‘Terminator’ cinematographer


This article was originally on a blog post platform and may be missing photos, graphics or links. See About archive blog posts.

Oh my.

Have you heard the scorching on-the-set rant by Christian Bale, who was clearly furious at Shane Hurlbut, the director of photography for ‘Terminator Salvation’? Clearly, somebody in the film’s audio department decided that the famously severe actor’s tantrum should be heard by the world ... which is why it landed at TMZ. The incident was reported months ago but the audio has finally made it out to the internet.

And ... wow, he was mad.

You can hear it right here but, please, don’t go there if you are offended by coarse language or if you are a big fan of Bale and don’t want your affections shaken.


Why the vicious tantrum? Essentially, Hurlbut (who worked with ‘Terminator Salvation’ director McG on ‘We Are Marshall’) walked across Bale’s sight-line during a scene. That’s a huge no-no and anybody with Hurlbut’s two decades of experience on movie sets is well aware of that.

‘If you do it one more time I ain’t walking on this set if you’re still hired!’ Bale barks at Hurlbut at one point during the three-minute snippet (the besieged cinematographer can’t be heard well during the barrage -- clearly the audio is all from a microphone that is on or near Bale).

I’m not sure anyone in Hollywood will be surprised by the eruption, except perhaps by its duration. Bale is known as a serious actor and a serious guy (did you see what he did to himself for ‘The Machinist’?) and his temper has been an issue before, at least if you believe his mother and sister and their account of his behavior last year. (I’ve never met the guy; I have talked to him on the phone but it was a brief interview and not very revealing, but I’m a big fan of his work, especially in ‘Harsh Times,’ ‘The Prestige’ and ‘3:10 to Yuma.’)

There’s a lot of pressure in making a major blockbuster and any project as dark and intense as ‘Salvation’ can take the cast into some pretty edgy places. Still, it’s hard to listen to this rant and think of the guy as a healthy, mature adult. The bottom line? Bale certainly won’t win any friends in the industry by savagely insulting a professional in front of a crowd. But, sadly, it’s just as certain that as long as Bale remains the famous face on all the movie posters, people will put up with the abuse.

-- Geoff Boucher


Christian Bale’s tantrum, the club mix


VIDEO: Christian Bale’s career, singing in ‘Newsies’ to slaying in ‘Salvation’

Is ‘Terminator Salvation’ the ‘Iron Man’ of 2009?

Exclusive: Schwarzenegger underwhelmed with early ‘Salvation’ footage

Terminator Salvation’ director McG: ‘I need to do less talking’