Christian Bale Reveals The Origin Of His Batman Voice And How His Wife Found It Dumb

Now that Christian Bale no longer has to don the Dark Knight's cowl and cape, he's downright chatty about all things Batman! While he's technically doing the press rounds for writer-director Scott Cooper's Crazy Heart follow-up, Out of the Furnace, Bale's been winning headlines by dishing on how his Batman came to be and what his thoughts are on Ben Affleck and BatKid taking up the caped crusader's mantle.

Sitting down with MTV, Bale not only restated his pleasure in seeing the character get passed on, but also revealed the inspiration for the Batman voice that has become a signature part of his performance. He admitted the growling voice was something he took with him into the audition, where he famously had to wear Val Kilmer's old batsuit. Bale explains:

"I got there. They put me in Val Kilmer's suit. It didn't even fit properly, and I stood in it and I went 'I feel like an idiot.' What kind of guy walks around, dressed like a bat? And is then going to go 'Hello, how are you? Just ignore that I'm dressed as a bat.' Of course, he's meant to be doing this. 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.'"

The audition he mentions above is now available as part of the The Dark Knight Trilogy: Ultimate Collector’s Edition, and Bale is not terribly happy about it. "I hate it when they do that," he explains, "because when you audition for it, (you don't think of the possibility of the video getting out). They get you at your most vulnerable moment, the bastards." In case you missed it, here's a clip of his audition for Batman Begins.

Ultimately, Bale's BatVoice™ is part of what helped win him the coveted role. But he says when he got home from the audition, he was far from certain he landed it. He recalls:

"I went home that evening, and my wife said, 'How'd it go?' I went, 'I kind of did this.' And I showed her, and she went, 'Well, you f---ed that one up, didn't you?' Thank God they went for it. It ain't for everybody, you know. Ben is obviously going to have to do his own thing. But it was the only way that I could find to get into that."

You can watch the full Batman-centric interview clip here:

Kristy Puchko

Staff writer at CinemaBlend.