Sonntag, 7. Oktober 2012

Book Review: Harrison Cheung's Christian Bale biography

I've been a longtime fan of actor Christian Bale and used to be part of a mailing list / Yahoo! Group for fans of his (approx. between 1999 and 2002 if I recall correctly). I've met some great girls from the USA, Canada, Denmark and Spain through this list / group with whom I'm still in touch with today and that means a lot to me.

The list / group was run and moderated by Harrison Cheung, Christian Bale's publicist. For a while everything was good, but then he started posting more about other actors such as Jake Gyllenhaal and when I and other memebers voiced our criticism, we were expelled from the group.
At some point Christian Bale had fired Harrison. I don't remember if this was before or after  my time in the group, but the bottom line is that Harrison must have been very bitter and therefore after all these years wrote this book Christian Bale - The Inside Story of the Darkest Batman.

I heard about this biography from the afore mentioned fellow Baleheads (Christian Bale fans) on Facebook and was curious enough to buy it. It is on the whole not quite a negative portrayal of Bale as I'd feared, so that's a good thing. Or maybe it just means that I'd read most of the negative stuff before, such as the infamous freak-out on the Terminator set. Whether other negative aspects were exaggerated or made up and positive aspects left out because of how the author's relationship with Bale ended we'll never know.

What I found disappointing was that the book almost focuses more on Christians's father David than the actor himself. And the writer keeps repeating certain facts over and over which is very boring, for example David Bale's situation as a Brit without a green card in the USA etc.

I also could have done without certain details from Christian's life like how often he used to wash his hair or not when he was younger and other stuff I won't repeat.

Instead I would have liked to read more about Bale's wife, but I guess at the time they met Harrison wasn't really a part of Bale's life anymore.

The book does give interesting insights into the movie industry and offers a behind the scenes look into many of Bale's films. If you've put Bale on a pedestal, don't read it because your idol will be destroyed afterwards, but if you can accept that he is a somewhat flawed human being, do give it a try.

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