Actor Christian Bale reflects on years as 'Dark Knight'

Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:22am EDT
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By Zorianna Kit

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Dark Knight rises in movie theaters this Friday on the wings of huge anticipation for the final film of director Christopher Nolan's "Batman" trilogy, but there is one man who remains calm in the face of the media hype, Batman actor Christian Bale.

Bale slips into the bat costume of Gotham City's crime-fighting superhero for the last time in "The Dark Knight Rises," which like its predecessors has received strong early reviews.

Chosen by British director Nolan for his franchise reboot, which soared with 2005's "Batman Begins," Bale's stone-faced portrayal of conflicted billionaire Bruce Wayne, a.k.a. Batman, was key to the movie's success.

The follow-up, 2008's "The Dark Knight," solidified Bale's status as a leading actor, and "Dark Knight Rises" will be his swan song in the role.

"I'm real proud of having achieved what we had set out to do," he told reporters at a news conference promoting the film. "It was a very important moment for me. It was an important character.

"It's the only time I've ever played a character three times in a row and the movies themselves have changed my life and changed my career."

Both movies earned praise from fans and critics alike. The first raked-in $372 million at box offices worldwide, and the second an eye-popping $1 billion. Bale went on to numerous other parts and eventually nabbed an Oscar for his role as a drug-addicted ex-boxer in "The Fighter."

When shooting of the "Dark Knight Rises" was done, Bale told reporters, he wanted time alone to think about the past seven years.   Continued...

Cast member Christian Bale attends the world premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises" in New York July 16, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly