Christian Bale Confirms He Had To Tell Chris Rock They Couldn’t Hang Out On Amsterdam’s Set, But There’s A Good Reason

It wasn’t that long ago when Christian Bale was causing trouble as Gorr the God Butcher for Chris Hemsworth’s Thor Odinson in Thor: Love and Thunder, but it’s already almost time to reunite with him on the big screen. Bale’s next 2022 movie is the 1930s-set Amsterdam, and among his co-stars in the David O. Russell-directed ensemble is Chris Rock. However, the former Batman actor, who previously teamed with Russell on The Fighter and American Hustle, had to tell the Saturday Night Live alum that they couldn’t hang out with each other on the Amsterdam set, but it was for a good reason: Rock was making him laugh too much.

In an interview with Indiewire, Christian Bale recalled how he was “excited” to meet Chris Rock on the latter’s first day, and their time together started off with Rock telling some stories to him on David O. Russell prompting that Bale loved. As Amsterdam continued shooting, Bale realized that while he enjoyed hanging out with Rock, their fraternization was negatively impacting his ability to play Burt Berendsen, one of Amsterdam’s three leading characters. Bale explained:

But Chris is so bloody funny and I found that I couldn’t act, because I was just becoming Christian laughing at Chris Rock. So I had to go to him, I went ‘mate, I love talking to you, and we have mutual friends, but I can’t do it anymore. Because David didn’t ask me to make this film so he could just watch me giggle. He wants me to be Burt, and I’m forgetting how to be Burt.’

On the one hand, it’s nice that Christian Bale and Chris Rock got along so splendidly, but those two were there to work first and foremost, and clearly Rock’s material was too much for Bale to effectively carry out his performing duties. Rather than continue cracking up on set, Bale made the call to separate himself from Rock so he could finish the rest of his Amsterdam scenes, but he doesn’t hold any ill will towards Rock. In fact, Bale added that he usually isolates himself on productions, saying:

I often meet these incredible people, but I isolate myself. Because if I get to know people too much, I find I just don’t believe what I’m doing in the scene.

Christian Bale’s Burt Berendsen is a one-eyed attorney who has been longtime friends with John David Washington’s Harold Woodsman, a doctor, and Margot Robbie’s Valerie Voze, a nurse. Unfortunately for these three, they end up becoming the prime suspects in a murder and must race to prove their innocence. Chris Rock stars as Milton King, who is seen at the beginning of the Amsterdam trailer commenting about how they’re trying to make off with the body of a white man in an open casket. Amsterdam’s cast also includes Anya Taylor-Joy, Zoe Saldaña, Mike Myers, Michael Shannon, Timothy Olyphant, Taylor Swift, Robert De Niro, Rami Malek, Andrea Riseborough, Matthias Schoenaerts and Alessandro Nivola.

Amsterdam, which is David O. Russell’s first movie since 2015’s Joy, opens in theaters on October 7. If you missed out on Christian Bale’s performance in Thor: Love and Thunder, stream it with your Disney+ subscription. You can also read Chris Rock had to say to Dave Chappelle at a recent comedy show about being slapped by Will Smith at the Oscars earlier this year.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.