Christian Bale Terminator Salvation

Christian Bale says Terminator Salvation is 'a great thorn in my side'

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Jul 16, 2019, 2:01 PM EDT (Updated)

Terminator Salvation faced criticism from day one, even from those starring in the film. Although the modest blockbuster didn’t quite ignite fandom (and its follow-up, Terminator Genisys, bombed with critics, audiences, and grammar nuts), Salvation is perhaps best known for star Christian Bale’s profane on-set rant that went viral. Bale, however, remains candid about much of the film’s folly, as seen in an interview on MTV's Happy Sad Confused podcast.

Bale credits his “perverse side” for why he took the role of John Connor in the first place, saying he was warned off the film by so many people that he tackled the part as a sort of challenge to himself. “I said no three times. I thought that the franchise… I went ‘Nah, there’s no story there,’ ” Bale said before lamenting that Salvation remains “a great thorn in my side.” “I wish we could have reinvigorated that," Bale said, referring to the Terminator franchise, "and unfortunately, during production, you could tell that wasn’t happening. It’s a great shame.”

Another shame for Bale comes from the aforementioned viral recording of him unloading on cinematographer Shane Hurlbut, who supposedly got into frame during a take. The outburst, while relatively easy to find on YouTube, is one filled with expletives, frustration, and regret. Speaking on it, Bale blames the scene’s heightened emotions for his behavior, though he says he learned that “no matter how much you lose yourself in a scene, you do not allow yourself to behave that way. And yeah, of course I’ve got enormous regrets about it.”

Neither the film nor the outburst could stifle Bale’s career, as he went on to work with director David O. Russell (another film industry A-lister with a history of on-set blow-ups) for The Fighter, for which Bale won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Bale said that on that film and those following it, he was greeted with "humor" by crews for his outburst rather than ostracized. His apology obviously helped, but the video was simply so outrageous that crew members could see "it wasn't [Bale]" during that tirade, but the worst part of him. Nonetheless, the video did and perhaps will always trail the actor.