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The Fighter - Christian Bale interview

Christian Bale in The Fighter

Compiled by Jack Foley

CHRISTIAN Bale talks about playing real life boxer Dicky Eklund in David O Russell’s The Fighter and how he went about transforming himself physically and mentally into the character.

He also talks about getting the opportunity to work with the real life person he is playing.

Q: What was it like training with the real Micky and Dicky?
Christian Bale: Just essential, you know, I mean Mark [Wahlberg] was always leagues ahead because he’d been training for this for so long anyway; he has his own boxing ring in his house. For me, it just was a wonderful opportunity to hang out with Micky and Dicky, get to know them, get to understand their fighting styles to use it as a means of dropping the weight that I needed to lose in order to look like a welter weight and then a crack head. I just enjoyed it immensely, I enjoyed their company.

Q. How did you transform to get into your role?
Christian Bale: Same with anyone you know, you kind of start off and you go: “Yeah I like this story…” And then you go: “Holy crap, how am going to do it, I’ve forgotten how to do this!” I never took any classes, I just go like: “I better wing this one again and make it up!”

Slowly, you find ways brick by brick of building it up, and it feels like hard work and you feel like you’re going to fail everybody. Then eventually it’s just kind of happening and it’s slipping in, then you forget that you went through the hard work and you think it was all easy.

Q. What is the movie about and what are the main themes that emerge in The Fighter?
Christian Bale: The Fighter is about brotherly love, it’s about loyalty, about family, family dysfunctions, the need to change, the pain of change, but ultimately, the triumph of people who love each other, managing to find a healthy way to unite and that they’re unstoppable at that point.

Read our review of The Fighter