Did you hear about that Christian Bale dude going off on the set of "Terminator Salvation"? If McG, the film's director, was hoping even a single person at New York's Comic-Con hadn't gotten wind of the week's biggest gossip item, he was counting on a lost cause.
When someone asked the director about the situation during the Warner Brothers panel, McG exploded in a faux tirade of foul language.
"You and me are done professionally!" he joked to the questioner, before seriously defending his star. "A film set is a passionate place and that happens. I wanted that level of passion to show up in the John Connor character. It's a war movie, and I didn't want it to be lightweight. As Christian said himself, he was sort of half-Connor, half-Christian, and it just happened."
Later, at a media roundtable, McG took pains to shed light on Bale's reaction to the media attention. "I bet his heart's a little broken that now he's been thrust into the spotlight," he said. "That's not what he's about."
"[He] flies under the radar," the director continued. "He doesn't show up in the gossip rags. He's just a very, very private, unassuming guy who's focused on being an actor. He drives a pickup truck from the '90s. He focuses on his wife and his family and acting. He doesn't know how to be a movie star, which I can only find charming. He doesn't get out there and work it. He's not the Beckhams. He doesn't give a sh--. He doesn't want to give a sh--."
McG took pains to assert that the unflattering gossip story hasn't interfered with work on the film, which is still being cut and will be released in May. "It hasn't affected us in the slightest," he said. "Christian has taken responsibility for the way he acted. It's a matter of fact that he and [director of photography] Shane [Hurlbut] are buddies. We finished the movie together. We did some additional photography about a month ago."
Describing how the situation played out on set, McG explained, "Shane is bigger than Christian. There was no version of, 'Ooh, Christian's going to whip his ass.' It was just sort of a blowup. ... We kept it safe. We let the steam blow out of it. From my experience, trying to out-huff-and-puff someone who's wound up is not conducive to getting to a better place. We just sort of let it run its course, and it did. And obviously, you only get to hear the explosive parts [in the audio clip], but that remix is pretty hot."
Above and beyond the unwanted media attention, what seemed to bother McG the most was that the audio leaked in the first place. "The set is a safe place, and frankly, the bigger violation is that anything that would happen on a movie set would get leaked out," he said. "That's really not fair, and I hope it doesn't color filmmaking as to make actors feel more cautious regarding going for it, or anything that goes into the creative process."
In a surprising effort to prove that all is well in the "Terminator" universe, McG put in a phone call to Bale in front of the entire crowd. His wife picked up, and to no one's surprise — except maybe McG's — Bale didn't hop on the line. "Thank you everybody," his wife said with an embarrassed laugh. "Hope you enjoy the movie!"
Check out everything we've got on "Terminator Salvation."
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