Christian Bale is known as a method actor, one of the very best at getting into a role and doing whatever it takes to make sure the character is “believable” in the end. There are numerous examples of him taking this approach to some pretty alarming ends. But recently it came out that he might have leaned a little too hard into one scene during the filming of the original Batman Begins. Apparently, Bale was so in character that he actually fell asleep on set and missed when cameras started rolling his scene.
Now, for a crimefighting superhero, there are more than a few bed scenes for Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne. The first one is near the outset of pulling nighttime double-duty at the Caped Crusader. In it, Caine’s Alfred is trying to wake up Bruce by throwing open the curtains and letting the light shine in. This is where Bruce contends that “bats are nocturnal” before throwing the bed sheet over his head. Alfred responds that “for millionaire playboys, 3PM is pushing it.” You can check out the scene in question below:
The scene in question though from Batman Begins is after Christian Bale Bruce/ Batman has been poisoned by the Scarecrow. He goes into a deep hallucination state and needs to be rescued by Alfred. After the latter drives him home he is met in bed by Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman’s characters who are concerned with the series of events.
Apparently though, when they originally went to film this scene, Christian Bale was laying in the bed waiting for camera to start rolling. While hanging out though, he fell into a deep sleep and didn’t hear Christopher Nolan and crew call action. This led to the scene starting, Caine going through his lines and getting nothing in response. Everyone waited and Bale did nothing. It wasn’t until Caine apparently went up to Bale, out of character at this point, and started poking him that the star finally woke up.
While this version of method acting for Christian Bale wasn’t likely intentional. Like Bruce’s character he was probably just exhausted. But the actor has been known for going to extreme lengths to stay in a character. Look no further than his crazy body transformation in The Machinist when he lost a staggering 63 pounds and looked completely emaciated for the part. And then there was when he played drug addict Dicky Ecklund in The Fighter. These two roles show the extreme length the actor has been willing to go to literally embody a role.
In all, this little sleeping snafu didn’t affect the filming of Batman Begins even in the slightest. Christian Bale and Christopher Nolan ushered in a new look for superhero movies with this film, firmly grounding them in reality and bringing a darker and grittier vibe the character. The Dark Knight trilogy as a whole was a resounding success. It was thanks in large part to Bale’s performance even if he did fall asleep on the job once. You can check out Batman Begins on Netflix where it was recently one of the platforms’ best performing flicks.