The Dark Knight Star Christian Bale Felt He Was 'Dull' Compared to Heath Ledger
Considering how immensely talented Christian Bale is, it only goes to show how great his co-star Heath Ledger was as the actor was in awe with his performance.
The Dark Knight trilogy was a turning point for superhero movies back when Batman Begins came out in 2005 as the genre grew more dramatic, serious, and large. Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale showed the world how differently this job could be done — and shaped the grim and dark DC that followed in their footsteps.
Undoubtedly, out of the entire trilogy, The Dark Knight — the second and titular movie — is the most famous and acclaimed. One of the main reasons for that, apart from Nolan’s genius and Bale’s performance, was the phenomenal portrayal of Joker by Heath Ledger who created one of the most iconic movie villains of all time.
Christian Bale was truly in awe of his co-star’s acting range and talent.
“Heath Ledger... What a performance, what a pleasure to be able to work with him. Just to see him and how much he put himself into the Joker. I was watching it going, ‘Yeah, this is absolutely fantastic.' <...> I'm so proud of that film, I love The Dark Knight, it's absolutely extraordinary, you know? And it was such a pleasure to have got to work with Heath,” Bale shared with GQ.
At one point, Bale started feeling “dull” next to Ledger, and this really goes to show the actor’s talent — especially, since he and Nolan were specifically trying to avoid making the protagonist less interesting than the antagonist. This, however, proved quite impossible to achieve with Heath Ledger nearby.
“I was thinking, ‘Are we in trouble here?’ When Chris and I first sat down, I said that the problem with Batman is that the villain is always more interesting, so let’s not let him feel dull by comparison. Then I said, ‘I’m feeling a little dull by comparison,’ because Heath was just killing it," Christian Bale explained.
For everyone who’s not quite familiar with Heath Ledger as an actor, this revelation should really highlight the main reason to fix this mistake: even Christian Bale, one of the most acclaimed and wide-ranged actors of this century, felt dull next to Ledger.