It’s still hard to believe Christian Bale is in the MCU. For many, Bale’s take on the caped crusader still looms large, so it might be somewhat bizarre to see him, even after all these years, make a move from DC to Marvel. Considering the number of different actors who have popped up in Marvel movies over the years, it wasn’t a matter of how but when. 

Bale’s role in the fourth Thor movie, Love and Thunder, is a juicy one. As Gorr the God Butcher, he certainly lives up to his name, killing many of the MCU’s godly figures, which naturally puts Thor (Chris Hemsworth) on high alert. Created by writer Jason Aaron and artist Esad Ribić, Gorr is a ghostly pale figure who wields the evil Necrosword, which gives him the power to slay gods.

He’s a relatively new villain in the Thor canon (that Aaron/Ribić story debuted in 2012), but one that’s certainly made quite the impact—and to see an actor of Bale’s caliber bring him to life is special. But, as audiences will see in the film on Friday, July 8, his backstory is a tragic one—which makes him more of a sympathetic character than you might imagine.

Ahead of Love and Thunder’s release, Complex sat down with Bale during a virtual press junket to talk about Gorr’s sense of humanity,  working with Taika Waititi, Bale’s inspiration for the character, how his kids convinced him to do the movie, and more.