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“There was a scene one day on an aircraft carrier, towards the end of shooting RESCUE DAWN, where they rescue Christian Bale and bring him back. At the end of the day, Herzog got on the stage with Christian and said, “Thank you all for coming. This was very important to me, this was my friend’s story. This is Christian Bale, he was Batman. Thank you for coming.” And then he sets down his megaphone, runs off down the gangplank, and he stood on the gangplank and shook the hand of every single extra who was there, about 300 guys. He didn’t leave until they all left, and if any wanted to talk to him, he’d talk to them. That’s just the kind of guy that he is … He didn’t make the actors do anything that he wasn’t willing to do himself. He would be in there with us; he held the camera, he wiped the sweat off our brows, he worked the clapper board. And it was a bigger movie for him, so he didn’t have to be doing all that stuff, but he wanted to do it and he just makes you want to do everything for him, and I would have anyway. And at the end of the shoot, I got to tell him that, when I was 16, I saw STROSZEK and that really changed my life, it was important to me. He got misty-eyed and gave me a big hug. For a cinephile, I don’t think there’s anything better than that. Even if I didn’t get to do that much on that movie, just for that moment, as a fan, that was incredible.”—
PAT HEALY ON “RESCUE DAWN” / WERNER HERZOG.
Excerpted from Film.com’s EPIC interview with the actor, which touches on the making of everything from “Magnolia” to “Compliance.”