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Monday, Dec 16, 2019

On Christian Bale’s birthday, watch his Batman audition and hear him try out the iconic voice for the first time

As Christian Bale turns 45, watch his audition as Batman for the Dark Knight trilogy, and listen to him try out that iconic voice for the first time.

hollywood Updated: Jan 30, 2019 08:56 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Christian Bale played Batman in three movies.
Christian Bale played Batman in three movies.

Actor Christian Bale will turn 45 on Wednesday, January 30. The actor, who recently scored his fourth Academy Award nomination for his performance as former US vice president Dick Cheney in Vice, is best known for his work in the Dark Knight trilogy.

Bale made his debut as Batman/Bruce Wayne in director Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins in 2005. He reprised his role in two more films, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. He was among several up-and-coming actors to have been considered for the part. Others who either auditioned or were up for the role include the likes of Eion Bailey, future Superman Henry Cavill, Billy Crudup, Hugh Dancy, Jake Gyllenhaal, Joshua Jackson, Joker star Heath Ledger, David Boreanaz and Batman Begins villain Cillian Murphy.

So on his birthday, take a look at Bale’s audition for Batman.


Bale was made to wear Val Kilmer’s suit from Batman Forever, and standing in for Rachel Dawes was Amy Adams, who would go on to appear in the DC Extended Universe as Lois Lane.

“This kind of character is not about acting ability or chemistry or any of those things,” director Christopher Nolan says in the video. “It’s about being able to project this extraordinary iconography.”

“Christian had somehow figured this out before his screen test; that you could not give a normal performance, you had to project massive energy through this costume in order to not question the costume,” Nolan continues.

Bale seems to have understood the importance of the Batman iconography, and the inherent ridiculousness of the character. He said in an interview to MTV about his audition, “If you look at the history of the guy and the pain that he went through. I went ‘I can’t do this in a normal voice. I have to become a beast in order to sell this to myself.’”

Nolan admitted that ‘Christian’s voice was a big part of the impression he made during the test.’ Bale ‘had decided that Batman needed to have a different voice to Bruce Wayne, you need to put on a voice.’

Bale’s three Batman movies went on to make close to $2.5 billion worldwide, racking up multiple Oscar nominations. The character was rebooted in the DCEU with Ben Affleck in the role.

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