Volume 39 Friday, November 19, 2004 Page 1 of 1


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He enjoyed his time in town filming "Batman Begins" last summer, but he didn't appreciate the chafing. "I spent about three weeks in Chicago last July doing night shoots. It's a great city, but the humidity was tough under the Batsuit. Uh, it got a little bad. It's hot enough in the Batsuit, let alone in the Chicago heat."

He gives Chicago the Mr. Clean seal of approval. "We shot on Lower Wacker, downtown and on rooftops. What shocked me the most is Chicago is such a clean city. I haven't seen a cleaner one except for Australia," he marvels.

The Chicago cops won't stop you if you're speeding in the Batmobile. "I never got to drive the Batmobile down Michigan Avenue. They were concerned about the proximity of people. I did drive in more remote locations around the city and I went fast. No ticket, but I never got to drive the Batmobile to these places. It was quicker to load it onto a truck than have the Batmobile go screaming through town."

He got the coveted role of the Caped Crusader by asking for it. "I contacted them. I heard they were doing some low-budget Batman not aimed at kids and I was tantalized," Bale says. "I had appreciated the Batman movies, but I wasn't really a fan and I didn't know the TV series. But I read some of the graphic novels and they were very dark and very interesting."
Bale was almost disappointed to find out this Batman film wasn't some low-budget number. "I said, 'It's big-budget, OK, then it won't happen the way I want it to happen. Forget it.' "He changed his mind when he found out that Christopher Nolan ("Memento," "Insomnia") was directing. "We clicked and hopefully we've made something very different."

His Batman kicks butt. "I've never felt like the Batman character in the films was given as much time as any of the villains. The villains were always the most interesting characters, too. Batman has always been this very bizarre, almost blind character running through the middle of the story," Bale says. "Our film is different." Ask him about his Batman and he laughs. "Talk about an American Psycho. The guy is running around in a cape."

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