Page last updated at 08:48 GMT, Wednesday, 3 June 2009 09:48 UK

Actor Bale takes on The Terminator

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Christian Bale talks about the rebooted Terminator franchise

Actor Christian Bale is taking the lead role in the latest outing of The Terminator franchise of all-action movies.

The Welsh-born star, well known for playing superhero Batman, plays the part of resistance leader John Connor.

While California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was too busy to shoot new footage for Terminator Salvation, a cameo has been inserted from earlier outings.

Bale discusses how he came to take on the part, the legacy of Schwarzenegger - and his well-documented on-set outburst.


This is the fourth Terminator film. The chronology of the first three can get rather confusing with all the time travelling. Where are we now?

Now we're post Judgement Day. It's a Terminator chapter we've never seen before. We've always seen the one or two Terminators causing chaos in modern day Los Angeles. This is the post-nuclear apocalypse where mankind is near extinction and the Terminators are the dominant species.

Christian Bale in Terminator Salvation
I foresee some really interesting storylines and things that I can get to do, playing the guy who is meant to be the saviour of mankind
Christian Bale on the possibility of further Terminator movies

I believe when you first saw the script you were in the back of the car after a day filming Batman. What was your initial reaction?

I always ride in the front of the car. But absolutely no. I saw the title and put it straight back in the package, because with great respect to the makers of the third one, no-one ever says that's their favourite one. It started to spoof the mythology quite extremely. So it seemed therefore that it was in its death throes.

I'd never imagined being in a Terminator film myself, or that any more would be made. It was a long process of different meetings and ideas being put around and they started writing on a whole new script.

They originally wanted me to play Marcus, who in many ways is the most dynamic character in Salvation. But I just always had a desire to play John Connor because of the mythology.

And hopefully if people have an appetite for this movie and they give us the thumbs-up and we get to make some more, I foresee some really interesting storylines and things that I can get to do, playing the guy who is meant to be the saviour of mankind.

There is a person missing in this film - Arnold Schwarzenegger. How much of a gap does that create?

Christian Bale
Bale with The Terminator robot at the premiere in Los Angeles

Not entirely missing. Very thankfully he agreed to the use of his likeness from when he was in his 20s. The nature of this mythology, ideally if we get to make more stories, is going to come full circle, because what we have in Salvation is the very first prototype of the T-800 with the human guise of Arnold Schwarzenegger in his 20s, who appears in the first Terminator movie.

The difference being that time travel has not been invented at this point, and in any future instalments we will make that will bring it full circle to that T-800 being able to return to the storyline from the original Terminator.

Your outburst on set which was leaked onto the internet did create headlines around the world. How do you look back on it now?

It's a shame. It was inexcusable what I did. It's only four minutes out of 77 days shooting, the rest of which went real well. It's in the past.

Co-star Bryce Dallas Howard discusses Bale's rant

What have you learned from it?

Count to ten and take those mics off.

Why do you think the public seemed to enjoy it so much?

I've got no idea. It's me. So I'm actually quite oblivious to how much news it created. People like yourself tell me that, but I wasn't looking at it myself.

So you didn't hear any of the parodies?

I heard the remix. That was very nicely done. I had to admire that one. I'm great at sticking my head in the sand and just ignoring things that I don't want to hear about. The fact is, what was important was what was resolved on set and that was resolved within half an hour on that day. That's what mattered to me - the actual people that were present on the day. You ask any crew member working on Terminator and they will tell you the same thing. It was done. Over. Nobody cared about it or talked about it after that.

Terminator Salvation is released in the UK on 3 June. Christian Bale talked to BBC 5 Live entertainment reporter Colin Paterson.



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