Christian Bale last appeared on our screens playing the Marvel villain Gorr the God Butcher in the most recent Thor movie, Love and Thunder, but he’s probably best known for his starring role in the Batman movies. It turns out, though, that Bale enjoys embracing his dark side over playing a hero.
“[Villains] not only have more fun, but they’re easier to play,” he told Screen Rant. “Because everybody is fascinated with bad guys, right? The minute the bad guy walks on the screen, no one’s looking at the good guy anymore. All eyes go to the bad guy, so it’s a much easier acting gig.”
Bale’s comments may sound a little glib, but it’s broadly true. After all, the Thor character he played, Gorr, was easily the most compelling thing in the most recent Marvel movie, but outside of the MCU, it’s undeniable that villains are just more compelling characters.
In Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight, the best of the Bale superhero movies, it’s Heath Ledger’s Joker who gets the bulk of the praise despite Bale turning in what may be his best Batman performance. Ledger went on to win a posthumous Oscar for the role while the rest of the cast weren’t even nominated.
Ledger’s far from the only Joker actor to be lavished with praise. In the Tim Burton movie Batman ’89, most people remember Jack Nicholson’s Clown Prince of Crime over Michael Keaton’s Caped Crusader despite Keaton being the best Batman actor we’ve ever had (sorry, Christian).
If you love the Dark Knight trilogy and bad guys, check out our list of the best Batman villains.