The actor, famous for playing brooding, damaged men, is back playing, well, a brooding, damaged man in the gritty western Hostiles. He talks about why the film industry has to change, balding up to play Dick Cheney and why he will never, ever, do a romcom
The interviews first surprise is that a chubby, grungy figure is occupying the Beverly Hills hotel sofa reserved for Christian Bale. The impostor sports a shaved head, heavy paunch, worn black T-shirt and khaki camouflage trousers. He looks like a bouncer, maybe, or a resting football hooligan, but certainly not the man who pops up on lists of the sexiest stars alive. But Bale it is, sunk into the seat, inhabiting his latest physical transformation. I ate a lot of pies, he says.
The actor is well known for going to extremes gorging, starving, bodybuilding which reshape his physique from Olympian to emaciated to portly and back. He has just done it again, packing on the pounds and going near-bald to play Dick Cheney. At the age of 43, these transformations are not getting easier. Ive got to stop doing it. I suspect its going to take longer to get this off, he says, indicating the belly.
But the chances of Bale not going all the way for a role are, on the basis of the ensuing interview, negligible. He may be from the small Pembrokeshire town of Haverfordwest and speak with an emphatic, non-posh English accent, but he is Americas Zelig: a versatile talent who incarnates his adopted countrys dreams and nightmares with singular physicality and intensity.
A driving force, apparently, is insecurity. The fact anybody hires me is surprising, says the Oscar-winner (for The Fighter in 2011) hired by Terrence Malick, Ridley Scott, Christopher Nolan and David O Russell. It could be false modesty, but Bale seems genuinely worried that someday the work on average one or two films a year over the past two decades could dry up. That could be really short-lived.
Bale reputedly has a temper. He was arrested for allegedly assaulting his mother and sister at the Dorchester hotel in London in 2008. The authorities did not press charges, citing insufficient evidence. The same year, he launched an expletive-filled tirade against a director of photography on the set of Terminator: Salvation in 2009. A leaked audio recording zinged across the internet.
Both are ominous portents that set up the interviews second surprise: today, Bale is affable, chatty, relaxed. He chortles. Possibly it is because of a cold he is under the weather and sips lemon tea but it comes out as a wheezing gurgle that for all the world sounds like Muttley, the cartoon dog.
Asked if the nearly decade-old on-set meltdown dogs him it is the butt of jokes and parodies he shrugs. People dont mention it to me, but that doesnt mean it doesnt follow me around. Im not aware of it if it does.
Bale has brought glamour, angst and taut menace to memorable roles ranging from Batman to Patrick Bateman, the axe-wielding yuppie of American Psycho (2000). He plays spoiler alert another brooding, damaged, hyper-masculine character in the powerful film Hostiles. As a US army captain, he is tasked with escorting a Cheyenne chief through 1892 western badlands. Blood flows as Bales character shoots, stabs, suffers and mourns.
The 400lb machine that once patrolled outside the San Francisco SPCA prompted a backlash, as some argued its real mission was to drive people away
To some homeless people, San Franciscos latest security robot was a rolling friend on five wheels that they called R2-D2 Two. To others living in tents within the droids radius, it was the anti-homeless robot.
For a month, the 400lb, bullet-shaped bot patrolled outside the not-for-profit San Francisco SPCA animal shelter, rolling around the organizations parking lots and sidewalks, capturing security video and reading up to 300 license plates per minute. Homeless people who pitched their tents in an alleyway nearby complained they felt the beeping, whirring droids job was to run them off.
We called it the anti-homeless robot, said John Alvarado, who was one of numerous people camping next to the animal shelter when the robot arrived. He said he quickly decided to move his tent half a block away: I guess that was the reason for the robot.
Officials of both the SF SPCA and Knightscope, who rented the robot to the shelter, denied that the intention was to dislodge homeless encampments.
The SPCA has the right to protect its property, employees and visitors, and Knightscope is dedicated to helping them achieve this goal, Knightscope said in a statement.
SF SPCA staff members said the facility had been plagued with break-ins, staff members had been harassed as they went to the parking lot and sidewalks were littered with hypodermic needles. Jennifer Scarlett, the SF SPCA president, said in a release that her organization was exploring the use of a robot to prevent additional burglaries at our facility and to deter other crimes that frequently occur on our campus like car break-ins, harassment, vandalism, and graffiti not to disrupt homeless people.
But after complaints about the program were shared widely on social media, the organization quickly admitted it had made a mistake in its choice of security guards and fired the robot.
Since this story has gone viral, weve received hundreds of messages inciting violence and vandalism against our facility, and encouraging people to take retribution, said Scarlett, noting that their campus had since been vandalized twice. We are taking this opportunity to reflect on the teachable moment.
Some of the homeless people who crossed paths with the white security robot, which bore images of dogs and cats, as it patrolled outside of San Francisco SPCA this month thought it was a cute and a positive addition to the area.
Court submissions over far-right provocateurs memoir reveal concerns over weak arguments, boasting and racism
Court documents filed in the US have revealed the editorial concerns of the publisher Simon & Schuster about the manuscript of the alt-right controversialist Milo Yiannopouloss autobiography Dangerous.
In July, Yiannopoulos set out to sue Simon & Schuster for $10m for breach of contract. As part of the case, Simon & Schuster have submitted documents that reveal the problems they had with the book. Among other criticisms, the publishers notes say Yiannopoulos needed a stronger argument against feminism than saying that they are ugly and sexless and have cats and that another chapter needs a better central thesis than the notion that gay people should go back in the closet.
In addition to the documents, a full copy of an early manuscript of the book, complete with the Simon & Schuster editor Mitchell Iverss notes, is available to download from the New York state courts website.