Fighter: Interview with Christian Bale

The Fighter The Fighter The Fighter The Fighter The Fighter

Christian Bale stars as Dicky Eklund in “The Fighter,” directed by David O. Russell. The film, which also stars Mark Wahlberg and Amy Adams, is being released by Paramount on December 10.

On his character

Bale was drawn to Eklund’s inner landscape, full of equal parts charm and demons, and couldn’t wait to meet him.  “Dicky’s one hell of a character,” he comments.  “I was very happy to get to know him.  He had such an extraordinary talent, which I don’t think he fully appreciated himself, but he was also drawn to extremes.  He had extreme ups and extreme downs.  Dicky was so naturally gifted that he was able to go drinking all night and then jump in the ring in the morning, but that catches up to you after awhile, and it was hard for him to fulfill on his potential.  He could have been champ.  Yet, he always had a big heart.”  

Sibling relationship

He was also was riveted by the script’s portrait of Dicky and Micky’s complex but undefeated sibling relationship.  “The two brothers were absolute opposites,” he says.  “Micky was all about hard work and discipline.  They were such total opposites that Micky was a prison guard at the same Billerica Jail that Dicky served time in.  Yet they were also as closely bonded as only brothers can be.  They really needed each other.  They were on such differentpaths in their lives, but ultimately, they couldn’t do what they each needed to do without the other.” 

Boxing training

“In the ring, you have to learn to calm your mind, because you’ve got to stop going into that animalistic fight mode when someone is trying to hit you.  You’ve got to calm yourself and get your heart rate down, but once you start training it’s really quite addictive,” Bale admits.   

Researching with the real Dicky

As Bale began to get more and more into the role on both a physical and emotional level, he spent more and more time with Dicky.  “I was initially worried it might be hard to have him on the set, but that isn’t the way it was at all,” says Bale.  “I could never stand by quietly & watch an actor play me, but Dicky did, he really came to trust the portrayal I was giving of him.”