Christian Bale insists he's not the tantrum-throwing, abuse-the-help jerk the world got to know from a meltdown seen and heard around the world.
Bale, out to promote "Terminator Salvation," the fourth movie in the science fiction series, famously flipped out at the film's cinematographer while the movie was being shot two years ago. Poor Shane Hurlbut's crime was to wander into the sights of the moody actor during a scene. Bale's ensuing verbal attack turned up on YouTube, where it has had nearly 2 million hits.
Bale told Entertainment Weekly for Monday's edition that he was surprised at people's interest in his blowup, but said he was "surprised at myself" when he saw his verbal beatdown of a crew member.
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"I don't care to go into details because, you know what, I don't believe in making excuses," Bale told Entertainment Weekly. "It doesn't matter. It was unacceptable. I went too far. And I learned from it."
His biggest fear, he said, was no that the tirade would hurt his image, but that it would overshadow the movie, which hits theaters June 3.
"There's so much hard work that's gone into this," Bale said. "We had 77 days of smooth running and four minutes of me just going way too far, and that shouldn't characterize the making of the movie."
"[My job] is to create an environment of protection for him to behave the way he needs to," said McG, whose real name is Joseph McGinty Nichol, and who acknowledges that his nickname is "hatable."
As for people hating on Bale after watching him snap like a human femur in the hands of Arnold Schwarzenegger, the actor believes people should love him at least as much as he does.
"I don't feel like I have to explain, 'Well, I'm not really like this,' " Bale said. "I'm a wonderful guy and I have a lovely smile and how can you not like me?"