Note to Readers:
When I got my advanced "final" copies of the book, I saw a couple weird things which I want to address. Photos. I know a biography should have lots of photos, but the publisher chose to remove a number of photos to save more room for words. There's a maximum number of pages and I wasn't allowed to go over. However, if you want to see lots of rare photos, please check out the Facebook page! An Addendum page has been created.
Why did you write this biography?
Christian Bale is arguably one of the best actors of our generation, but little is known about his story and his offscreen life. A couple years ago, when he allegedly assaulted his mother and his sister at a London hotel before the premiere of The Dark Knight, I was amazed to see how some people immediately sided with Christian and called his mom and sister “gold-diggers.”
A year later, Christian’s four minute rant recorded on the set of Terminator Salvation was all over the Internet, making Christian’s temper and rage rank with the likes of Mel Gibson and Russell Crowe. Again, I was amazed at how some people changed their minds, deciding that Christian was the ultimate douche, and the assault on his mother and sister had become very plausible.
The truth about Christian’s temperament is somewhere in the middle. I felt a book would provide his fans with a more human face and insight behind the mask of this actor.
I also wanted to remind his fans the roles they all played in making Christian Bale’s career. He was the biggest star of the Internet when the World Wide Web was new in the 1990s. That didn’t happen by accident. Christian and I and his father designed a marketing campaign that would take advantage of this new medium and tap fan power to influence movie producers and journalists directly. His Internet fame turned Newsies into a cult hit, landed him the role in American Psycho, and ultimately helped to win him the part of Batman himself. His career is an amazing story that’s worth telling.
Is this an official biography?
No, the definition of an "authorized" or "official" biography is one where the celebrity chooses the writer, limits the writer to what they can talk about, restricts the writer whom he can talk to, and then censors the final copy of the book. I wrote Christian’s bio’s and press kits while I worked on his career, so all of the posturing we did – the vegetarianism, the animal rights activism – those were part of building his reputation in Hollywood.
This book is a well-researched biography. This is one of the reasons why I was so lucky to work with one of the top entertainment journalists in Hollywood – Nicola Pittam – to ensure that the book has the thoroughness unlike typical fluff bios. I also am happy to share my odd point of view, having been a fan of Christian’s who ended up moving from Toronto to Los Angeles to work on his career. Fan power is an important component of Christian’s career turns, success and longevity.
Is this book biased for/against Christian Bale?
No, this book is an open and fair biography. I hope readers come away from the book with a better understanding about what happens to child actors when they try to make it in Hollywood. It’s a story about having a show biz parent (fans of Toddlers and Tiaras will understand!), about moving from one country to another to pursue a Hollywood dream. It's Christian's true story - his life, his career, his fame. And it’s the true and untold story about how fans were mobilized to turn the “Biggest Star of the Internet” into the Dark Knight!
What makes this book unique is that it’s told from the point of view of someone who knew him firsthand. There are other celeb bios that are written by people who research what’s been published about the actor, but you really have to know someone to understand how and why they do the things they do.
Are you the same guy who started the CCBALE club in Canada, the CBFC, and Christian’s official web site, christianbale.org?
Yes, that’s me. Baleheads old and new will have heard about the origins of the CBFC on the Internet and how I ran campaigns, auctioned off items, and raised money for Christian’s charities. The Baleheads were the first, and obviously one of the most effective communities on the Internet!
What did you think of Christian’s rant on the set of Terminator? Justified? Over the top?
Well, in the movie world, even actors blow takes. But I knew firsthand how serious Christian can be about his work environment.
Did you interview any of Christian’s family for the book?
There are interviews in the book, but I was careful not to betray any trusts. Christian's entire family signed Confidentiality Agreements so that they can’t speak to the press. I have never signed one, so I had to respect the wishes of family members who could not speak for themselves.
Do you think movie stars should have their privacy?
Absolutely, my book is not a tell-all. There are some areas that I didn’t think were relevant to the story of his career. I also think there's a big difference between "privacy" and "control." When some actors say they want their privacy, they really mean they want control.
However, I do love this quote which I think applies to celebrities:
“We know very little about Christian Bale the man because he is intensely private. That is his right, and should be respected, within reason. After all, any serious movie actor who doesn't realize he's choosing the most public of careers when he signs on ought to have his head examined.”
John Farr, Huffington Post