Christian Bale is charting a new career path: producer.
After receiving his first such credit in the fall, on David O. Russell’s Amsterdam, he snagged another one on his new film, The Pale Blue Eye. But Bale is not one to sneak the credit into his contracts as some vanity gift.
“Like everybody, I’m stunned sometimes at the amount of producers you see in the credits,” Bale explained to THR at the recent premiere of the Netflix film that he produced for filmmaker and frequent collaborator Scott Cooper.
“I did it on Amsterdam and with this because I was there right from the inception. I helped to put the films together, and mostly as a creative producer, a right-hand man, sort of a consigliere,” Bale continued. “I can be there to whisper in their ear, reminding them of how we put it together, what the intent was, etc. I wouldn’t want to do it if it’s not appropriate and I’m not putting in the work.”
Cooper said that though it’s the first time the duo have produced together — and their third collaboration as actor and director, after Out of the Furnace and Hostiles — it was an easy extension of their close partnership.
“Christian reads all of my scripts whether he’s in them or not; he sees cuts of all of my movies whether he’s in them or not; so he acts as a producer whether he’s involved with the movie or not,” Cooper explained. “It’s been really a great experience to have him also produce this film. Any time you can make films with your close friends just makes it all the richer,” adding that the two have “a big shorthand.”
Pale Blue Eye follows a veteran detective Augustus Landor (Bale) in 1830s New York investigating a series of grisly murders at the United States Military Academy with the help of Edgar Allan Poe, a young military cadet at the time. The film hit theaters on Dec. 23 and starts streaming Friday on Netflix.
This story first appeared in the Jan. 5 issue of magazine. Click here to subscribe.