Christian Bale Talks Amsterdam Role: ‘I Would Spot People in the Street and Follow Them’

Christian Bale has seen several transformative roles throughout his career. Whether he’s losing weight for The Machinist, gaining weight for Vice, or bulking up for Batman Begins, Bale has proven himself as one of Hollywood’s most dedicated actors. His latest role as Burt Berendsen in David O. Russell’s Amsterdam will be no different, even if he didn’t have to put such a physical toll on his body.

During an interview with Inverse, the 48-year-old actor shared one particular challenge with filming Amsterdam and why it was somewhat dangerous for him. Burt has a glass eye throughout the movie, and instead of digitally adding the effect, Bale and the crew decided to shoot with an eye lens practically.

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He says, “I had a lens in the whole time. I couldn’t see out of that eye at all. There was a lens technician, Bob, who was great. He was always looking out for my eye,” Bale explains. “If we left it in too long, he’d come and look and go, ‘Oh God, we got to take it out.’ He would say the eye is literally growing around the lens.” He continues, “It’s like egg whites and the protein starts to grow because it starts to say, You’ve had this lens in for so long, we’re gonna make it a part of your eyeball.”

Luckily, Bale made it through filming without completely losing his vision in one eye, deeming the filming process a success. However, he adds that his preparation for the role may be considered a bit strange, telling Inverse that he’s been thinking about Amsterdam for years. “We built this up over many many years. It sounds a bit weird, but I would spot people in the street and follow them and watch them and observe them,” says Bale. “And then I’d call David and go, ‘Oh, I just saw a dude walking by and he’s got the voice and the way he walks. He’s a total Burt!.'” There’s little doubt that Christian Bale will nail his role in Amsterdam as he always does, and fans are indeed looking forward to it.

Amsterdam Is Ready for its Theater Premiere

20th Century Studios

Amsterdam is set to release in theaters on Oct. 7, starring Margot Robbie and John David Washington alongside Bale. The three leads are joined by an astonishingly talented cast, including Chris Rock, Anya Taylor-Joy, Zoe Saldana, Mike Myers, Michael Shannon, Taylor Swift, Rami Malek, and Robert De Niro.

The official synopsis for Amsterdam reads: “In the 1930s, three friends witness a murder, are framed for it, and uncover one of the most outrageous plots in American History.” The film comes from David O. Russell, whose previous work includes The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook, Three Kings, and American Hustle. So head to your local theater next week to see Bale, Robbie, and Washington in Amsterdam on Oct. 7.