Christian Bale On The Edge

Actor Christian Bale reaches new heights in his portrayal of Batman in the "Dark Knight."

Literally.

Bale told Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith that he refused to let a stuntman stand in for him at the top of Chicago's Sears Tower.

"How often do you get a chance to do that in a Batman costume looking out on Chicago?" Bale said. "One hundred and ten stories up looking over the edge straight down on the street? I'm not letting anybody else do that."

And he loved every second of it. All 30 of 'em.

"I'll tell you, the thing that was kind of disturbing but enjoyable was how comfortable I felt," he said. "It literally took 30 seconds. After awhile I was able to look right up and look around, and lean right over the edge and attempt to make the producers as nervous as possible."


Photos: Christian Bale
The role had other challenges. Bale said that playing the Caped Crusader is like playing three characters in one: the superhero, as well as the public and private sides of his alter ego, Bruce Wayne.

"You see the genuine side to Bruce Wayne. The very personal and quite lonely figure," he said. "You have the playboy billionaire who Gotham sees - who is the true fake. And then you have Batman who is real as well, which is Bruce Wayne's means of challenging his rage and enabling him to have something of an ordinary life."

Bale first starred as Batman in 2005's "Batman Begins." The challenge this time around is to bring something new to the role.

"You get to see a different side to the character," he said. "And in this case, (in) the original one he was striving to have the power to effect change within Gotham and now he very definitely has that. So you have the burden of responsibility of somebody who has that power and what quite he should do with it."

Batman battles his arch-enemy The Joker in the movie, with the late Heath Ledger in a role that's getting plenty of Oscar buzz.

"It's something very new," Bale said of his co-star's work. "I think it will be a real classic portrayal. It's a very kind of Sid Vicious punk, anarchic look at it. Very creepy. He did a phenomenal job at it, a real fierce portrayal."

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