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Why Christian Bale stopped talking to Chris Rock on-set of new movie

Christian Bale refused to speak to Chris Rock on the set of their new movie Amsterdam, even despite being a fan of Rock's standup.

Christian Bale as Burt in Amsterdam movie

Christian Bale and Chris Rock share the screen together on their new mystery thriller movie, Amsterdam – but in between takes, Bale refused to speak to Chris Rock. 2022 is shaping up to be one of the busiest years of Bale’s career. The actor starred as the leading antagonist in MCU movie Thor: Love and Thunder, and is the main man in the new movie Amsterdam. Later in the year, he’ll again be taking centre stage in the gothic horror movie The Pale Blue Eye.

This glut of Bale movies has come due to production timelines being condensed during the Covid-19 pandemic. With the release of those three movies, and then having to do the press and promotion for them in the run-up to their release, it could be easy to assume that Bale may have been under a lot of pressure at points during the year. Certainly, it will have been a unique challenge, at times.

Now, Bale has spoken about how he refused to speak to Amsterdam co-star Chris Rock on-set of the movie. Given Bale’s history of occasional outbursts on-set, you might be wondering whether or not there was some kind of feud between the two. Happily, the story is explained by a much more merry explanation.

Speaking to IndieWire, Bale recalled his initial meetings with Chris Rock. The Batman movie actor said “I remember his first day, I was excited to meet [Chris Rock], I’m a big fan of his standup”. However, that excitement bubbled over into outright giddiness, when Bale found that Rock was making him laugh too much to stay in character.

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Eventually, Bale had to refuse to speak to Rock at all, because Rock was making it too difficult for Bale to perform without laughing. Bale explained this, saying “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 O. Russell] 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.’”

It’s sometimes easy to forget how difficult it is for actors to come in and out of character, sometimes doing multiple takes. However, the fact that Christian Bale had to ban himself from talking to Chris Rock is a great reminder, while also hinting at the fun that can be had while making a movie – even if it isn’t a comedy movie.

If you’re in the mood for more laughs, check out our guide to the best comedy series.