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Envelope Screening Series

'Out of the Furnace': Christian Bale on loving enough to let go

November 27, 2013|By Oliver Gettell

One of the pivotal scenes in Scott Cooper's new drama "Out of the Furnace" is a conversation on a bridge between Russell Baze (Christian Bale), a blue-collar worker trying to save his troubled war veteran brother, and Baze's girlfriend Lena, played by Zoe Saldana, who has left him for another man.

What's unique in this case is that the more romantic, heroic choice is for Baze not to fight to get back the woman he loves, and instead to let her go.

At a recent installment of the Envelope Screening Series, Bale talked about shooting the scene and what it meant for his character.

Bale described Baze as "someone who's seen the town that he loves falling apart, the people that he loves falling away from him. And then finally what we see on the bridge is a scene of a man who is ultimately recognizing the end of any plans, any hopes, any ambitions, any goals that he had in the past, and having to accept that, and having the love enough and respect to say, 'I respect the decision that has been made. I'm not going to linger and fight.'"

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

Bale continued: "He has nothing left to lose. And so begins after that a journey of, 'Where does a man of that character go to once there is nothing left that he's spent his entire life constructing?'"

Cooper shot numerous takes of the demanding scene, but Bale said, "Each time it was dead easy because Scott creates this environment where it does feel like there's sort of a documentary feel, where we have to just create the world and the camera will just catch glimpses of us instead of us performing for the camera."

For more from Bale, Cooper and Saldana, watch the full video above.


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