Even an actor as acclaimed and intense as Christian Bale doesn't always think that highly of his own work, it seems.
Bale was speaking with Yahoo! Movies this week about his new film, Knight of Cups, when the subject of his performance as Batman in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy came up. While the films are still held in high esteem and Bale's work as the Caped Crusader (and Bruce Wayne) largely lauded and respected, the Oscar-winning actor himself has his doubts:
"I didn’t quite manage what I hoped I would throughout the trilogy. Chris did, but my own sense of self is like, ‘I didn’t quite nail it.’"
Bale also admitted that he was intimidated to some degree by the late Heath Ledger's force-of-nature performance as the Joker in the second movie, 2008's The Dark Knight:
"Heath turned up, and just kind of completely ruined all my plans. Because I went, 'He’s so much more interesting than me and what I’m doing.'"
I think Bale is being a little hard on himself here. While he made some strange choices in the Dark Knight films -- most notably that exaggerated growl he introduced in the second movie -- his Batman was perhaps the most well-fleshed-out one we've ever seen on screen. The actor's trademark intensity served the character well, and he was perhaps also the first actor to make a sharp distinction between Bruce Wayne -- whom he portrayed as a dissolute playboy -- and the Bat.
He also brought consistency to the role after it had been played by three different actors in the four previous feature films, but we will agree that -- like the other actors who have donned the cowl -- he was often overshadowed by his antagonists. Ledger's Joker absolutely dominated The Dark Knight, and even Tom Hardy's Bane and Anne Hathaway's Catwoman stole their share of moments in The Dark Knight Rises.
With a new Batman (Ben Affleck) just weeks away from making his debut, how do you think Bale did in the role? Did he "nail" the Dark Knight or not?