Actors are Jerks

Even Christian Bale, apparently. TMZ has released some recorded audio from the set of Terminator: Salvation, in which Bale goes all verbal poo flingy toward a crew member who walked through the shot. Listen to the whole thing here. Every other word is an F-bomb so it’s NSFW unless your boss is David Mamet.

At first I thought he was talking to a grip, but it turns out he was actually yelling at the Director of Photography. This is a guy who oversees the shots so it makes sense that he was checking lighting. His timing might not have been perfect but I bet he checked the monitor first to make sure he wasn’t in the shot. This doesn’t matter, of course, to Mr. Bale who can’t work with such distractions. Actors are trained monkeys. They work fine as long as they are kept happy. But if something sets them off, you’re gonna have a mess on your hands. It doesn’t sound like the doomed D.P. is even arguing with him. He’s just standing there taking abuse and then getting fired.

Why is it that good acting and a complete lack of respect for other human beings seem to go hand in hand? Maybe all that yo-yo dieting made him crazy. Either way, I am so glad I never moved to Hollywood to pursue a career in film.

On a related note, I guess I retract my previous belief in his being innocent of Mum beating.

Thanks D-listed.



  1. “I am so glad I never moved to Hollywood.”

    What is this typical Pacific Northwest “California is full of dicks” nonsense? As you know, it’s not like we have a lock on assholes down here! Unless you are speaking metaphorically, i.e. “I am so glad I decided not to pursue a career in Hollywood films.” In which case I will not berate you for espousing any geographic superiority. Though I READILY agree that the vast majority of actors really are jerks.

    • Unless you are speaking metaphorically, i.e. “I am so glad I decided not to pursue a career in Hollywood films.”

      That is EXACTLY what I meant. Sorry. Didn’t mean to imply a California-in-general prejudice.

  2. Dude- It is so obvious that Christian Bale is an asshole. Just look at his mom beating jerk face. Never trust a man with no lips. Also, contrary to popular belief, he is ugly and a mediocre actor. His batman voice is stupid.

    • You’re right. He was terrific in American Psycho though. But maybe he wasn’t so much acting as being himself.

  3. Also, mtk is right, there are ass loads of douche bags in Seattle- they are just not famous.

    I don’t know why I have such a potty mouth this tuesday morning!

    • I know he’s right. I decided to edit my post to be more clear about what I meant. I was specifically referring to the film business. There are artist assholes everywhere. But they don’t usually have as much pull as A-list actors. If he IS able to fire the D.P. over a moment of carelessness that didn’t even result in any injury and only a little lost time (more because of the chewing out, though), that is TOO MUCH power.

  4. I am having a hard time wrapping my mind around the guy allegedly being the DP. It does not ring true to me. Maybe the gaffer?
    In film making, the closer you are to the image, the more important you are on set. Granted the actor is the image, the DP makes the image. Unless the guy was a nobody, I can’t see some actor going off on Vilmos Szigmund like that. The relationship is too tight between the two roles. It has to be.
    As for the actor in this story. No excuse but remember their training is such that their emotions are right under the surface. Long days and stress can make tempers flare. Fortunately I have only seen a couple of instances of prima donna behavior on set, and those were from actors that were nobodies. The pros I have been priviledged to work with have been exceptional in both their performances and thier behavior. But perhaps I have just been lucky.

  5. Dude- I mentioned this before but my sister is in love with him. It grosses me out. she used to be obsessed with “Newsies”

    • Faye too. And a million other girls who were in middle school when that shit came out.

  6. OK I take it all back. After reading a number of unbiased accounts it turns out the guy was the DP, he was asked not to fiddle with the lights during a take and continued to do so. The scene was one of great emotional turmoil.
    And at the end of the day you get all those people together to do one thing, capture the performance so CB gets a pass by me on this little outburst.

    • Emotional scene or no, did he REALLY need to threaten to kick the guy’s ASS? In fact, in sounds like he attempts to throw a punch and is held back. Overreact much?

  7. I don’t think it’s fair to say, “ALL” actors are jerks! I’ve worked with some that are incredibly humble, down to earth, gracious, but I also recently worked with an actor on a website who was a complete jerk!

    I’m sure there’s some jerky actors out there that are conceded and full of themselves. I wonder how they grew up to be that way? Did their parents tell them that bad attitudes will get them far in life!?

    You’ll be surprised when you work with an actor who you’ve seen in film and admired, and then you work with them and their true character comes out! It’s nasty, and this actor I recently worked with falls into the “nasty” category.

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