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July 15, 2002 .
'Psycho' Bale dishes
about dragons, film
By Taryn O'Leary
Daily Arts Writer
Bale-heads around the world are cele-
brating the digital-meets-musical age as
famed productions "Newsies" and
"Swing Kids" are released on DVD this
year. Though he is arguably the sexiest
English actor to emerge from that side of
the Atlantic, Christian Bale flexes more
than his youthful vocal chords in this
summer's highly anticipated blockbuster,
"Reign of Fire." In an attempt to save
what is left of the human race from flesh-
scorching dragons, Bale fights fire with
fire alongside Texas-native Matthew
McConaughey, thus creating Bale's first
hard-core action flick.
From an obsessive-compulsive corpo-
rate "American Psycho," to a futuristic
version of an enflamed, action hero; from
budding talent to blossomed success,
Bale told The Daily how he maintains his
cool throughout his variety of theatrical
Michigan Daily: Matthew reportedly
spent months training for the film "Reign
of Fire." What sort of training did you do
to prepare your character to face man-
Christian Bale: As a matter of fact, I
thought my character would be best pre-
pared by staying away from weight-lift-
ing because I'm technically supposed to
be starving during the movie. So, I spent
the three months prior to filming strictly
dieting. Then two weeks prior to filming
I met with Matthew and saw how bulked
he was, and seeing as how my character
is supposed to fight his character in the
film, and stand half a chance, I started
doing a ton of weight training for the last
MD: "Reign of Fire"'s storyline is
considerably different from any other
film you have ever worked on. When
[director] Rob Bowman approached you
with the script for the film, how did you
react to the idea of doing an action
Naked Bale in "American Psycho."
CB: Originally it wasn't the idea of an
action movie that deterred me, but the
script itself. Rob approached me in Ger-
many while I was filming "Equilibrium,"
due out this summer, and at first I didn't
even know what to say. Luckily he inter-
jected with a list of editing ideas that
happened to coincide with my ideas, and
he stuck with his promises throughout
the course of the filming.
MD: Rumored to be fairly intense
while working, what was it like acting
with Matthew McConaughey?
CB: Matthew is in character all day,
every day, regardless of our being in
front of the cameras or off the set.
Although intense, it is refreshing to be
able to work with an actor who is really
passionate about his work. He shaved his
head without any direction from Rob.
That shows dedication.
MD: Were there any mishaps that
occurred during the filming process?
CB: During the fight scene between
Matthew and me, Rob wanted to make
the punches look real. So, half way
through the scene, Matthew genuinely
butts my head with his head, followed by
my genuine punch to his face, and my
genuine falling to the ground. While
watching that scene later I realized how
badly I really got my ass beat.
MD: At the end of the day, what truly
makes you happy?
CB: I am known for being a total sap
during these questions. At the end of the
day, it is my beautiful wife that truly
makes me happy. I answered a similar
question with this similar answer about
three weeks ago, and I'm still receiving
the dividends at home. Hopefully this
will continue to score me major points.
Palahniuk brings new
novel to Ann Arbor
By Maureen McKinney another unlikely protagonist. The
Daily Arts Writer main character in "Survivor" is,
appropriately. enough, the only sur-
In the present atmosphere of super- viving member of a religious cult
ficiality and rampant capitalist ideals, who had just committed mass sui-
there exists- a tremendous amount of cide. As the plane he is on plummets
difficulty in producing a work that toward the Australian outback, he
draws attention to societal shortcom- dictates his life story into the plane's
ings, and at the same time, is rich in flight recorder. "Survivor" was well
dark humor and satirical acuity. received and demonstrated the
Chuck Palahniuk has strength of Palahniuk's
accomplished this feat ability to illustrate
once again with his bleakness and humor
fourth novel "Choke". CHUCK PALAHNIUK with an adept style.
Palahniuk, who is Border's With "Choke",
probably best known for Palahniuk has one
his fierce and brilliant Friday, July 19 at 7 p.m. again delved into the
novel "Fight Club", has recesses of his imagina-
seemed to have waged a one-man-war tion and experience and provided us
on the accepted standard of a literary with Victor Mancini. Mancini, who
hero and has done so without an over- spent a brief stint in medical school,
whelming sense of self righteousness. is resourceful to say the least, and
Rather, his heroes have evoked a col- when faced with his inability to pay
lective introspection, which although for his dementia-ridden mother's
sometimes unpleasant, have given care, he devises a scam that will
Palahniuk's novels the resonance that allow him a seemingly unending sup-
makes them simultaneously amusing ply of funds. Each night, he dines in
and profoundly disturbing. decadent restaurants and feigns
These qualities do not, however, choking until one of the well-heeled
make a book very marketable, at least diners comes to his rescue. His
not in the eyes of publishers. Palah- rather disconcerting theory is that
niuk found this to be true when his once someone saves his life, they
first novel; "Invisible Monsters," was will inevitably feel responsible for
rejected by all publishers who saw it. him in both an emotional sense-and a
In a rage, he produced "Fight Club" monetary one.
and as Palahniuk stated, "I wrote it as "Choke" also returns to the world
an angry swan song. I figured no one of addiction, support groups and
would publish it, but still, no one self-help programs, which was so
would quite forget it." integral to "Fight Club". However,
Of course, "Fight Club" was pub- this time addiction is limited to sex
lished, and aided by an exceptional, and Victor frequents these support
glossy film adaptation, it catapulted group meetings because of the likeli-
Palahniuk into the role of the antihero hood of getting action.
who championed the undoing of capi- For an author who experienced so
talist foundations and highlighted the much difficulty in the initial publica-
dark, raw spots of life such as addic- tion of his work, Palahniuk has
tion that often went unexplored by established himself as a the
those in the literary world. spokesman for those who identify the
Palahniuk followed "Fight Club" ills of society, but who also recognize
with "Survivor", another eerily black the pleasures that can be found in
comedy whose story was told through these dark and grim circumstances.
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