'Everyone was like, 'Who knows what's going to happen?' ' he tells MTV News of having Dicky Eklund and his relatives on set.
By Kara Warner, with reporting by Josh Horowitz
For Christian Bale, one of the highlights of making "The Fighter," a performance for which he was recently nominated for a Golden Globe in the Best Supporting Actor category, was meeting and getting to know the real-life inspiration for his character: Dicky Eklund. Bale said he and Eklund became buddies over the course of filming — during which Bale learned to speak "Dickenese," Eklund's unique manner of speaking — which proved useful when it came to translating the half-brothers' story to the big screen.
"[We said] 'Look, there's no story here unless we show the dregs. You've got to show the lows.' " Bale recalled telling Dicky and his brother Micky Ward, the inspiration behind Mark Wahlberg's character. "It's the roller coaster of their life that makes it a fascinating story. Each one individually doesn't make a movie, but you combine the two brothers, and there's a fascinating movie."
The "Dark Knight" star added that in showcasing so much of the life of these two men, there were creative liberties taken for time's sake, which didn't always go over well with Eklund.
"We [had] to show that side of it, and also condensing a life into two hours, you're taking some license," Bale explained. "Initially, there were a lot of problems. Dicky would be saying, 'That's not how it went down. I said this not that' and 'He wasn't there at that point. He was over here.'
"[We told him] 'Right, but we've had to kind of blend these two scenes, because otherwise this movie is going to be years long.' " Bale recalled. "So he came to understand that, but there were a couple of moments where I had to say, 'Dicky, don't go punch [director] David [O. Russell] now. Don't go punch him. It's all right, count to 10, let's figure it out.' And I'm sure David and Mark had to stop him from punching me and stuff."
Bale described the initial meetings with all of Eklund and Ward's family members — including Ward's feisty wife Charlene (played by Amy Adams in the film) — as a trip.
"Charlene was there with her sisters," Bale recalled, "and everyone was like, 'Who knows what's going to happen?' ... They're a passionate family."
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