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Envelope Screening Series

'Out of the Furnace': Christian Bale's 'gut feeling' about the role

November 26, 2013|By Oliver Gettell

Over the course of his career, Christian Bale has played such diverse roles as masked superhero, murderous yuppie, Victorian stage magician (magicians, actually), emaciated machinist and post-apocalyptic soldier. His next one up is the blue-collar worker Russell Baze in Scott Cooper's new drama "Out of the Furnace," about an everyman who will do anything to try to save his brother, a troubled war veteran played by Casey Affleck.

At a recent installment of the Envelope Screening Series, Bale talked about how he chooses his roles and what drew him to "Out of the Furnace."

"Every time I read a script for the first time, it's not anything that I can articulate about why I like it," Bale said. "It's a gut feeling."

VIDEO: Watch 'Out of the Furnace' cast, crew discuss film

He continued, "For me, it's a visceral thing, that if you're still thinking about it for weeks afterward, then there's something there that's sort of hypnotizing you, something that you still want to discover about it. You want to go back and revisit it. And that's what you need. Because when you're going to be making a film ... you need to be having a sense of discovery throughout the entire time."

Bale described Baze as "an interesting character in that he was someone who, in times gone by, would have been absolutely the backbone of America — as was the industry, the furnaces, the steel, the teeming streets, etc. ... And now he's a man who is an archetypal American character, doing the right thing and suddenly finding himself to be absolutely irrelevant. How did that happen? He's done nothing wrong, but he's suddenly irrelevant and he's out of time. That I found to be really fascinating."

For more from the cast and crew of "Out of the Furnace," including Bale and Cooper discussing how the film almost didn't get made, watch the full video above, and check back for daily highlights.


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