Having stepped into the entertainment industry at the age of 10, English actor Christian Bale has portrayed several characters over the years. One of the most iconic roles he has ever played is Bruce Wayne aka Batman in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy that was released between 2005 and 2008.
Christian Bale has starred in movies of a variety of genres and is known for his method acting practice and drastic physical transformations. However, nothing he had done earlier could have prepared him for what he was expected to do in the biopic W., directed by Oliver Stone. Consequently, he refused to do that role even if it meant that he was letting go of a career-altering role.
Christian Bale Had His Reasons For Letting Go Of W.
Released in late 2008, W. is a biographical comedy-drama movie that follows the life of the 43rd President of the United States who held office from 2001 to 2009. The movie did not do all that well at the box office as it grossed only $28.9 million against a production budget of $25.1 million and has a mere 58 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Although Oliver Stone wanted Harrison Ford to play the role of George W. Bush in his biopic, he cast Christian Bale in the lead role. However, the American Hustle actor dropped out of the role even though he had done a lot of research about it and had learned the former President’s vocal ticks and mannerisms.
Eventually, Josh Brolin was cast in place of Bale. In an interview with (GQ via Film Detail), Oliver Stone said:
“Originally I went for Christian Bale. We did some rigorous prosthetic tests and spent a lot of dough—thousands and thousands of dollars—and then Christian said, “I just don’t feel like I can do it.” I met Josh and liked him. He was more rural Americana. But man, he was scared shitless.”
Although the Public Enemies actor was not new to the use of prosthetics and makeup, he felt that the prosthetics they were using for him in this movie were not suiting him well and that’s why he believed that it was for the best if he didn’t do it.
Josh Brolin Almost Turned Down The Role
Oliver Stone wanted a star to play the role of George W. Bush in the biopic W. After Christian Bale dropped out, Stone did not have a lot of options, and yet he got lucky with Josh Brolin as he had what the director was looking for.
In the beginning, Brolin had trouble understanding why Stone would want to cast him. In an interview with USA Today, the actor said:
“When people approach you about roles, you understand why they would make the connection. But when [Stone] came to me about Bush, I couldn’t understand it. I couldn’t make any connection whatsoever. I was a little insulted. He said, ‘There’s something very Americana about you. There’s something bucolic about you.'”
Josh Brolin proceeded to say that although he had a very extreme reaction to it in the beginning, he had a change of mind after reading the script. He found the role very challenging and he didn’t think he would be able to do it. However, he did a great job at it which could be seen in the movie.