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Christian Bale: The Inside Story of the Darkest Batman

Christian Bale: The Inside Story of the Darkest Batman

4.1 12
by Harrison Cheung

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The darkest Batman is unmasked.

During the London press junket for The Dark Knight in the summer of 2008, Christian Bale was infamously accused of assaulting his mother and sister at the five-star Dorchester Hotel. Six months later, a recording of Bale’s rant on the set of Terminator Salvation was leaked, and the star’s anger


The darkest Batman is unmasked.

During the London press junket for The Dark Knight in the summer of 2008, Christian Bale was infamously accused of assaulting his mother and sister at the five-star Dorchester Hotel. Six months later, a recording of Bale’s rant on the set of Terminator Salvation was leaked, and the star’s anger began to define him.

But beyond his notorious temper, Bale, an Academy Award-winning actor for his role in The Fighter, is known for his ability to physically transform himself for roles in American Psycho, The Machinist, and as one of Hollywood’s most revered and bankable characters—Batman.

In Christian Bale: The Inside Story of the Darkest Batman, Best Biography winner in the 2013 Indie Excellence Awards and finalist in the 2013 Indie Book Awards, a 2013 Indie Book Awards Finalist for Best Biography, Bale’s former publicist and assistant Harrison Cheung—his real-life Alfred—shares an inside look into the little-known personal life of the intensely private and reclusive actor. In the first biography of the Batman star, Cheung, who lived and worked with Christian and his father for 10 years, shares firsthand accounts of the Bales’ familial dysfunction, Christian’s morbid fascinations and dark humor, and his extreme dedication to his craft.

Aware that Bale hated his traditional publicity duties, Cheung launched an extensive Internet marketing campaign for the actor, built the first official actor website for him, and cultivated the Baleheads, an online fan community that was used to garner editorial coverage and ultimately help Bale secure the role of the Caped Crusader.

Written with veteran Hollywood and entertainment reporter Nicola Pittam, Christian Bale: The Inside Story of the Darkest Batman uncovers Bale’s transformation from shy, English child actor to Internet sensation to Hollywood bad boy.


Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
One of the original adoring "Baleheads," Cheung joined the "House of Bale" in the early 1990s and diligently worked for nearly a decade to further the actor's visibility and star power, reworking promotional materials and ultimately making Bale one of the Internet's biggest names in acting. Despite the success of Cheung's efforts, the book is suffused with an overwhelming sense of bitterness—Bale is frequently portrayed poorly, chastised for bad housekeeping habits and worse personal hygiene, and vilified as a short-tempered employer. Still, Cheung's first-hand observations of Bale's rising career and early roles—including Patrick Bateman in American Psycho—provide an interesting perspective on the making of a star, albeit one with an obsessively overbearing father who had a habit of rewriting family history and snooping through his son's belongings. Finally fed up, Cheung eventually left to work for Jake Gyllenhaal. Strangely, the book continues to chronicle Bale's career after Cheung's departure, so while the author's vitriol wanes, gossip-mag reportage takes over. Fans looking for dirt will find plenty of it here, but an Appendix A dedicated entirely to a transcript of Bale yelling at the DP on the set of Terminator Salvation seals the deal on this being little more than one man's version of payback. Photos. (May)
From the Publisher

"When (Cheung) refers to himself as Bale's majordomo, he is not kidding."
N.F. Mendoza, former journalist at Los Angeles Times, People, TV Guide

"This intimate and revealing biography of Christian Bale is full of details few people know about Hollywood’s most-lauded Batman, and how a child actor—by harnessing his fans on the Internet—became the star he is today."

"A new picture of Christian Bale emerges..."
Huffington Post

"Cheung's first-hand observations of Bale's rising career and early roles—including Patrick Bateman in American Psycho—provide an interesting perspective on the making of a star..."
Publishers Weekly

"A 'Must Read' for Summer"
Austin Monthly

"Recommended Summer Reading List"
Los Angeles Magazine

"'What's Hot for Summer' List"
Tribute Magazine

"Three stars — Batman's former wingman speaks out!"
Jamie Russell, Total Film

"The book is good - a fun, informative read."
Christopher Heard, author and film historian

"...a revelatory glimpse into Bale’s personal life... it does contain much interesting information for fans."
Movie Maker

"More than just a tell-all expose. Make no mistake, Cheung was privy to a fair amount of behind-the-scenes drama."
Hamilton Magazine

"Great Book."
Melissa Cronin, The Daily

"One of the best biographies of the year."
Kathryn Raaker, Let's Just Talk

"3 1/2 stars — a gripping read!"

Product Details

BenBella Books, Inc.
Publication date:
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
File size:
4 MB

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Meet the real-life Alfred! Harrison Cheung worked for Christian Bale as publicist, marketer, and personal assistant for almost a decade. As a family friend and confidant, Harrison was involved with practically every aspect of Christian’s life, including his publicity, finances, immigration, fan mail, and, of course, web marketing. With web marketing, Harrison created the Baleheads – Christian’s online fan community – and made him the biggest star on the Internet. Entertainment Weekly touted Bale as one of the "Top Cult Figures of the Past Decade" because of his Internet presence.

Born in Scotland and educated in Canada, Harrison has been writing all of his life. His first novel, Idol Worship, was a finalist in the Writers' Guild Fiction competition. In 2002, he produced an award-winning short film called Rising of the Moon, about IRA hunger striker, Bobby Sands. Most recently, his short story, Witness, won Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train’s 2010 Short Fiction competition. He is currently working on a series of novels.

Harrison is a digital marketing professional at IBM, where he earned an Innovation Award for his work in Internet marketing. He lives in Austin, Texas.

Nicola Pittam has been living and working in Los Angeles for the past fourteen years as a celebrity news journalist. She supplies news and features to a variety of publications in the U.S. and the U.K. including The New York Post, USA TODAY, People Magazine, Us Weekly, TMZ, RadarOnline, London Times, The Telegraph, The Sun, The Mirror, Daily Mail, Hello!, OK, Glamour, and Cosmopolitan.

She has also written a biography with Angie Best – ex-wife of England’s most famous soccer player George Best and fitness trainer to world-renowned entertainer Cher. George And Me: An Autobiography was published in the U.K. by Virgin Publishing in September 2001.

Nicola started her career as a writer at the age of 19 when she wrote for her local paper in Northampton, England. She has come a long way since then, including spending almost four years, from the ages of 22 to 26, working for Rupert Murdoch's Sun newspaper in London, which is the highest selling daily newspaper in the UK. Nicola, now 40, still writes for all the British daily newspapers, based in Los Angeles but reporting from across America. In addition, she is working on several scripts including a TV pilot and a YA novel.

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Christian Bale: The Inside Story of the Darkest Batman 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
AlwaysReview More than 1 year ago
This book was Amazing! I have to disagree with the other reviewer. I thought this book was artfully crafted and wrote in a way that you feel you are literally apart of the story! I feel the book told the story in the right way and it felt truthful and real. I was so impressed by the way the author delivers the material and i feel it was given and delivered in a way that anyone would understand what was going on with Christian Bale and how his son and family coped with what happened. This is great for anyone that wants to know the truth or looking for any interesting read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Total garbage. The only believable thing might be how David Bale used his son's earnings, but other than that it's just fiction. The dedication to baleheads past and present is insulting to baleheads period. Only gullible people would believe the garbage dished out. The book should be listed as Fiction, not nonfiction. None of the so called faxes or notes are scanned and put in the book, they are just written as if they were true. This book shouldn't even deserve a whole stare, but not even one. The only reason this book was published was because Harrison wouldn't sign a NDA, which is common practice for actors/actresses to have someone working for them to sign it. Only gullible ninecompoops would believe anything that is written by this disgusting slimeball.
ebony12 More than 1 year ago
I think most of it was made up. Some maybe true, but most of it was just mean!
Lisi_ More than 1 year ago
I did not read the book but i bought and i dont know if its true or not maybe yes maybe not, but Christian never say something about his personal life, and Harrison Cheung did it! so if its the only thing i have about personal life of Christian i will believe in some words.
Helen_Ginger More than 1 year ago
Christian Bale: The Inside Story of the Darkest Batman is an intimate look at the actor, Christian Bale, by his assistant and former publicist, Harrison Cheung, along with reporter Nicola Pittam. According to Cheung, he's the one who rocketed Bale to stardom. Cheung began an online fan site for Bale long before such sites were the norm. The Internet was still pretty much in its infancy. For years, he focused on Bale and was the driving force behind Bale's rise to stardom. So much so, that Bale eventually hired him. Cheung ended up living and working with Bale for almost ten years. The book doesn’t focus on Cheung, though. It's a tale of Bale, who doesn’t come across as a particularly likable person. Cheung does, however, show how committed and driven he is. Bale throws himself completely into characters. Doing whatever it took to become that character, including losing incredible amounts of weight when the role called for it. He would change himself into that character. At times, Bale is unable to control his anger, either with his family or on set. He does, also, come across as an actor totally immersed in the characters he played and dedicated to stepping into their skin, no matter the cost to himself. We are taken from when Christian Bale was a child actor to years later when he took on his most known role as Batman in the movie, The Dark Knight. And I admit that as soon as I finished reading Christian Bale: The Inside Story of the Darkest Batman, I loaded my copy of The Dark Knight and watched it. Having a new understanding of the actor, I saw the movie and the role differently. Knowing how completely Christian Bale becomes the character he's playing makes you worry about what kind of toll it takes on him. This book isn't a fan book. Christian doesn't always come across as likable. But in ways, it helps the reader understand Christian. Cheung shows the sad childhood of Bale. Keeping the family afloat and housed fell on Bale's shoulders, even as a child. This is an interesting book, whether you're in the movie industry or not. For those who are entering the field, it can be a cautionary tale. For those of us who are not, it's a look behind the red curtain and into obsession. I give Christian Bale: The Inside Story of the Darkest Batman a rating of Hel-of-a-Story. ************** Disclaimer: I do not know Christian Bale. I do not know Harrison Cheung, although I did meet him when we were both doing readings at Central Market. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Have you seen him in that with Hugh Jackman? This just got serious....... Batman amd Wolverine are battling it out with magic tricks. Hahaha if you havent you should it is kind of creepy at the end but a great movie otherwise and that part was still good #batmanandwolverinebattlingitoutw/magictricks.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is awesome
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hes freakin awesome in batman lov u christain
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"I was wondering what would break you or your spirit" "I am the league of shadowps" "Im sorry they took all your mony mister wayne" "no your not" "You have my permission to die now" "Gothams Reconing!" "I AM BATMAN"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For christian bale, we should all endeavor to lead a life of kindness,reflecting of the deep beauty of our hearts and souls...one of the greatest reasons people watch movies is that a great movie,will touch the heart,inspire the soul,and uplift the mind....imagine to find out that a great actor portraying great roles in these movies,behaves in real life the complete opposite of these values....leaving the movie goer,without a hero,heartbroken,and shattered.....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love him as Batman. He is amazing!!!!! I think that it is a PHENOMENAL movie. Love it.<3 :D
Anonymous More than 1 year ago