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Christian Bale Says He Was The ‘Worst Birthday Party Performer Ever’ In Scenes With Kids On The Thor: Love And Thunder Set

In case you haven’t noticed from the Marvel blockbuster’s trailers, Christian Bale has a sincerely creepy look playing Gorr The God Butcher in Thor: Love And Thunder. Between the pale skin, scarring, and sallow eyes, he’s a figure that looks straight out of a nightmare – which is why it probably shouldn’t be all that surprising to learn that that actor had an interesting relationship with the child actors with whom he shares scenes in the new movie.

I won’t give away too many plot details with the film still days away from release, but there are sequences in Thor: Love And Thunder where Christian Bale’s Gorr is performing opposite a group of children. It was a specific experience I asked the actor about during the Los Angeles press day for the movie last month when I interviewed the film’s stars, and Bale explained that he had a good time shooting and improvising a lot of material with the intention of freaking out the kids (not for real, of course):

You know, I was like the worst birthday party performer ever, and we did actually sit there and we went through so much; that was just one of a bunch of things that Taika [Waititi] and I made up on the spot. He was just sitting near the camera going, 'Eh, try doing this thing and do that.' We did a whole bunch of different things, and that was the one that we chose. But we had a lot of fun, a lot of creativity.

Writer/director Taika Waititi is known for allowing a great deal of improvisation on his sets and not being married to what is on the page, and this is evidently a perfect example. Christian Bale further revealed that the collaboration went to some pretty extreme places that were fun to do, but ultimately didn’t fit into a PG-13 blockbuster. Bale continued,

We went to some really bloody funny places, and we also went to some very, very creepy, dark places – both of which were probably a little bit too extreme. We wanna make sure that this is a family film. I took my kids to it last night and they just adored it.

As for working with his young co-stars, Christian Bale told me that it took a minute for everyone to adjust to his look – as the villainous makeup effectively made them wary of him. Bale told me that one kid who had a particularly funny reaction to his took was Taika Waititi’s daughter:

They were fascinated. It's the thing about playing a villain, isn't it? People are fascinated with the villain. So the first few days... I spent a lot of days with all the kids, but the first few days, they were all a little bit kind of looking at me – and Taika's little girl, she was hysterical. She would stare daggers at me. I would try talking to her and she was having none of it. She was just like, 'You...' Just looking at me like, 'You stay away.' She demolished me with every time. She's a strong little character.

Much like how the kids in IT had to adjust to working with Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise, Christian Bale found that over time the child actors not only became less afraid of him, but eventually became enchanted by the makeup job and the character’s signature weapon. Said Bale,

Initially they were all keeping their distance. But then as they recognized just how harmless and silly I am they were all coming up and like, 'Oh, do the black bile thing! Do this! Give me the Necrosword!' The Necrosword would get passed around everybody. And then people would come in, 'Christian, is that the sharp one? Please don't let the kids play with that one! That's the rubber version? Okay. great.' But they were fascinated, wanted to touch all the scarring and whatnot. It was a great deal of fun.

The fun that the actors clearly had on set translates to a great deal of blockbuster fun in the finished product – and Marvel fans will be able to find that out for themselves very soon. Thor: Love And Thunder, starring Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson, and Russell Crowe in addition to Christian Bale, arrives in theaters this Friday, July 8 (tickets are on sale now (opens in new tab)).

To learn more about everything that is one the way from the Marvel Cinematic Universe – in 2022 and beyond – be sure to check out both our Upcoming Marvel Movies and Upcoming Marvel TV guides.

Eric Eisenberg
Eric Eisenberg

NJ native who calls LA home; lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran; endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.