In an interview with IndieWire, shared Monday, Bale—who plays Burt Berendsen in the Russell-penned ensemble piece—recalled being “excited” to meet Rock on the first day of shooting. Bale, a self-described “big fan” of Rock’s standup, also noted how quick Rock was to start telling him stories at the behest of Russell.
“And I was loving it,” Bale said of the experience, though he later had to pull back as part of his usual process of ensuring he is able to fully get into the mind of his character. With Rock, Bale added, he was “forgetting” how to tap back into his interpretation of Burt.
“But Chris is so bloody funny and I found that I couldn’t act, because I was just becoming Christian laughing at Chris Rock,” Bale told Christian Zilko. “So I had to go to him, I went ‘Mate, I love talking to you, and we have mutual friends, but I can’t do it anymore. Because David didn’t ask me to make this film so he could just watch me giggle. He wants me to be Burt, and I’m forgetting how to be Burt.’”
Speaking more generally on his approach to having brought a wide variety of different characters to the screen over the years, Bale said he makes a point to “isolate” himself to protect his process.
Joining Bale and Rock in the Amsterdam cast are Margot Robbie, John David Washington, Anya Taylor-Joy, Mike Myers, Zoe Saldaña, Michael Shannon, Robert De Niro, Taylor Swift, Rami Malek, and many more. Following its New York City premiere this month, Amsterdam is slated to open nationwide on Oct. 7.
The period piece marks the second film of the year for Bale, who appeared in Thor: Love and Thunder over the summer. Bale has worked with Russell before, including in American Hustle and The Fighter. For Rock, meanwhile, Amsterdam marks his first feature since last year’s Saw franchise-expanding Spiral.