Wednesday, December 5, 2018

The Inside Story of the Darkest Batman #Nonfiction

Christian Bale: The Inside Story of the Darkest BatmanChristian Bale: The Inside Story of the Darkest Batman by Harrison Cheung

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Harrison Cheung, a Canadian who loves movies, was Christian Bale's unpaid personal assistant for many years. He does not have a very high opinion of Mr. Bale, whom he characterizes as incredibly self-centered. Disdainful of publicity to an extreme, Bale didn't even attend Heath Ledger's funeral because he didn't want to face the public, even though Bale and Ledger had become friends. (Some people get along with Christian Bale. Heath Ledger was one, and Russell Crowe is another.)

This book is full of short, interesting tidbits, but it also contains some strange errors and omissions. When mentioning Christian's interest in playing Mercutio in the Baz Luhrmann 'Romeo + Juliet' film of the '90s, Cheung and co-author Nicola Pittam mention that Bale lost the role to "an African-American." What an odd, vague way to describe Harold Perrineau, the actor who not only steals the movie with his impassioned portrayal of Romeo's volatile friend but is also well-known to American audiences through the TV shows 'Lost' and, now, 'Claws.' Do the authors really not know who Harold Perrineau is?

Another section refers to Colin Farrell as a British actor. Colin. Farrell. Is. Irish. Irish people are NOT British, and since Cheung lived with a British family (Christian, Louise, and David Bale - brother, sister, and father) for years, shouldn't he know this?

Cheung also has a low opinion of Winona Ryder, a former friend of Bale, his co-star in 'Little Women,' and the one who introduced Bale to his wife, Sandra (Sibi) Blazic. He describes the petite star as foul-mouthed and rude.

The whole narration has to be taken with a small grain of salt because Cheung obviously has a bone to pick with the Bale clan. They owe him thousands of dollars, if he genuinely never received a paycheck for working as Bale's personal and social media assistant from the earliest days of the Internet. Maybe he's exaggerating, or maybe he has cherry-picked the incidents that paint Christian Bale and his semi-con-artist father in the worst possible light. I don't know. It was still an interesting, relatively quick read.

I purchased this book at Barnes and Noble with my own funds as was not obligated in any way to review it.