Bale in the theatrical trailer for The Dark Knight, out July 18, 2008
You've played a wide variety of characters, but very few of them have been happy-go-lucky. Are you attracted to darkness?
Certainly I have no attraction to misery. I don't intentionally go for dark. The only thing I would unequivocally say is that I have never had any interest in romantic comedy I just couldn't do it. I think I'd be terrible. And I think it's an oxymoron, anyway. I've never found any of them funny.
Michael Caine has talked about the intensity of Heath Ledger's portrayal of the Joker in The Dark Knight. How did you find working with him?
He was incredibly intense in his performance but incredibly mellow and laid-back. Certainly there was this great anarchistic streak to it just getting dirtier than anybody's envisioned the Joker before. This character has power because he has no limits absolutely nothing to lose.
The late Heath Ledger on his role as the Joker
How has Ledger's death changed the way you look at the film?
Naturally it was something I wanted to share with him and expected to do so. And I can't do anything else but hope that it will be an absolutely appropriate celebration of his work.
I've gotten the impression that some of the things you've said about yourself in the past that one of your grandfathers was a bomber pilot and the other one was a children's magician . . .
. . . I make up. Absolutely. I'm an actor I'm not a politician. I always kick myself when I talk too much about family, or personal things. I'll enjoy chatting now, and then later I'll regret it.
In the past you've said you sometimes start telling people stories about things you did as a kid and then realize that you never actually did those things.
To be honest, it happens a lot. There are so many things which, even knowing that it was in a movie, I still feel like I've been through. And then I have to really rack my brain to work out "Have I actually been through that in my life?" There are occasions when I've pretended to be in a firefight, and then there are people who have really been in a firefight. Clearly it's absolutely ridiculous, and even disrespectful, to suggest that I understand what that is. And it deserves a very hard smack across the face for any actor to ever suggest that they understand. But the power of delusion is incredibly strong.
As a kid, you moved 15 times in 15 years. Did that make you want to live an unconventional life?
That actually didn't seem so unconventional. It just seemed like that was the way it should be done. I never felt the desire to have an unconventional life it was more just a recognition that I probably didn't want that other thing.