I genuinely didn’t know Christian Bale was British until recently. In every movie I’ve seen him in, he’s expertly put on many different accents, most of which have been various dialects from the United States. So, when I found out he had trouble with accents and would find himself going between English and a given movie’s accent, I was shocked. The cherry on top though was hearing him explain the press tour for the Dark Knight movies and putting on a hybrid British-Batman accent, and it’s hilarious.
I feel like this likely comes as a surprise to most, I know it did to me at least, but Bale said he’s not good at accents, saying he can’t turn it on and off. He explained in a BBC Radio 1 interview that when he’s filming if you watch behind-the-scenes footage you can see his accent is “half English, half the character.” The reason behind it is that it takes far too much energy to stay in character all the time. He continued by saying he “keeps one foot in both,” and then gave Batman as an example of this:
Personally, when it’s not directly in a Batman movie I find the Batman voice quite silly. Then, when you mix it with a light British accent it becomes funnier. I also think one of the reasons this is funny, is because Bale seems like an accent expert. On the 2022 movie schedule alone, he went from a British accent in Thor: Love and Thunder to a flawless American accent in Amsterdam, which is his third movie with David O. Russell.
Bale is known for his physical transformations in films, but also if you watch his films, even his lesser-known ones, his accents are also part of his transformative performances. So, learning that one of the best actors of our generation struggles with accents sometimes is kind of wild. Also, the fact that he ends up in a hybrid of accents is hilarious, especially when it comes to his voice in The Dark Knight movies.
Overall, Bale has been praised for his take on Batman, however, people laughed at him when he explained Christopher Nolan’s initial vision for the trilogy. Well, he proved the naysayers wrong, and now his version of Bruce Wayne and Nolan’s movies still receive lots of love all these years later. I think that because of how good Bale’s performance in the trilogy is, seeing his funky accent mix on the press tour is humorous. Who knows maybe we’ll get to see his stellar performance and mixed-up accent as Batman someday, he has said if Nolan ever comes back to direct the movies, he’d consider putting the super-suit back on.
While that may be a far-off dream, you can catch Bale and his various accents, in his most recent films. To see his scary villainous character Gorr you can watch Thor: Love and Thunder with a Disney+ subscription, and you can watch his lighter, quirky character Burt in Amsterdam which is currently in theaters.
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Riley Utley is the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. She has written for national publications as well as daily and alt-weekly newspapers in Spokane, Washington, Syracuse, New York and Charleston, South Carolina. She graduated with her master’s degree in arts journalism and communications from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Since joining the CB team she has covered numerous TV shows and movies -- including her personal favorite shows Ted Lasso and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. She also has followed and consistently written about everything from Taylor Swift to Fire Country, and she's enjoyed every second of it.