Christian Bale isn’t salty about Leonardo DiCaprio getting offered so many movie roles before he does.
“Good for him, he’s phenomenal,” Bale told GQ‘s Zach Baron in the magazine’s November cover story.
“Oh, dude. It’s not just me. Look, to this day, any role that anybody gets, it’s only because he’s passed on it beforehand,” Bale said in a response to a question about having lost several roles to Leonardo DiCaprio in the ’90s, including Jack in Titanic.
“It doesn’t matter what anyone tells you. It doesn’t matter how friendly you are with the directors. All those people that I’ve worked with multiple times, they all offered every one of those roles to him first. Right? I had one of those people actually tell me that. So, thank you, Leo, because literally, he gets to choose everything he does. ”
The Amsterdam star says he doesn’t take any of that favoritism personally, though.
“Do you know how grateful I am to get any damn thing? I mean, I can’t do what he does,” Bale says. “I wouldn’t want the exposure that he has either. And he does it magnificently. But I would suspect that almost everybody of similar age to him in Hollywood owes their careers to him passing on whatever project it is.”
Some of the roles that Leonardo DiCaprio has turned down include Dirk Diggler in Boogie Nights, which ended up going to Mark Walberg; Neo in The Matrix, which, of course, went to Keanu Reeves; Tom Ripley in The Talented Mr. Ripley, which went to Matt Damon, and even one of Christian Bale’s most famous parts — Patrick Bateman in American Psycho. Here, Looper has a longer list of other roles DiCaprio has passed on.
Bale has never thought of himself as a “leading man,” he adds — and he doesn’t want to be.
“I’ve never considered myself a leading man. It’s just boring. You don’t get the good parts. Even if I play a lead, I pretend I’m playing like, you know, the fourth, fifth character down, because you get more freedom,” he says. “I also don’t really think about the overall effect that [a character’s] going to have. It’s for me to play around, much like animals and children do. Have tunnel vision about what you’re doing, not think about the effect you’re having. You know, I’ve learned some things, very basic — like I used to always turn away from the camera if I had a moment that I thought might be a bit embarrassing. And, you know, literally, the camera operator would have to say, “It was probably great, Christian, but we couldn’t see anything, because you keep turning your head away. Like, please, you’ve got to understand that while this might be a moment in life that somebody wants privacy for, on film, you got to let us in. All right?”
About embarrassment, Christian Bale adds:
“If you’re not playing an extreme exhibitionist, or perhaps someone who’s being insincere with their emotions, nobody tends to cry and turn to the whole room, you know? People recognize it’s a moment they’re having, and they cry quietly to themselves, and if you’re too aware of the camera, you turn away from the camera as well, because you go, like, ‘I can’t have them witness this either.’ It’s just natural. Human.”
Main Image: Christian Bale in Amsterdam, photo credit 20th Century Studios