Christian Bale Talks Working Without a Script on 'Knight of Cups'

christian bale knight of cups photos terrence malick
Christian Bale stars in “Knight of Cups”

Christian Bale on Working With Director Malick Terrence

Christian Bale has taken on a number of high-intensity roles in his career, but playing Rick in “Knight of Cups” put him at ease, thanks to director Terrence Malick.

“I was very relaxed with him,” Bale told Made in Hollywood. “He’s just a forgiving person, but also, he genuinely enjoys mistakes. He enjoys any of those sincere moments.”

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In some cases, Malick kept the filming atmosphere what seemed almost too laid-back.

Christian Bale Improvised ‘Knight of Cups’ Scenes

“[He’d say,] ‘Why bother having a script at all?'” Bale said. “Let’s just have character descriptions he gives to each and every person. We’ll film, we’ll see what happens.”

Bale recalls a moment when the famed director caught him on an off-day and turned it into filming gold.

“There was a morning when I came down,” Bale said. “You just have a bad day. You have no ideas. There are tumbleweeds going through your head. And he said to me, ‘All right, let’s do this scene and maybe you’d say … and maybe not. But you’d feel this way.’ And I went, ‘Terry, I just don’t want to do it. I’m just tired of it. I just don’t want to do anything today.’ And he was like, ‘Great! Okay, film right now.’ He’ll make that work. He’ll fit that into the film.”

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As for the film — which centers around screenwriter Rick’s quest to find himself while encountering unique individuals throughout his Las Vegas and Los Angeles travels — Bale calls it a ” love-hate story about Los Angeles.”

“There’s a great deal of ugliness, a great deal that can lead you astray. There’s a lot of beauty that can be absolutely distracting, but a lot of beauty that is a wonderful guide and you should follow,” he says. “Rick has indulged in every gift that Los Angeles has to offer. And he’s now kind of trying to rediscover what he’s lost.” — Dahvi Shira

Watch Julie Harkness Arnold’s full Made in Hollywood interview with Christian Bale: