“Before we started, I'd call [writer-director] Adam [McKay]… and I said, ‘How's it going?’ and he said, ‘Oh, my God. Christian Bale is incredible,’” Carell told ABC’s Chris Connelly in an interview for “Nightline.” “And I'm back in L.A. going ‘Oh, God. Oh, no.’”
“Everyone had that reaction,” added Adam McKay, laughing.
The first two weeks of shooting the film only involved Bale and his big solo scenes. For the director and crew, it was love at first take.
“The first two weeks were all Christian," McKay said. "And the crew and all of us fell in love with Christian, and stupidly, I would tell these guys that… ‘[Bale is] so grounded and specific and he's so collaborative, and footage looks beautiful,’ and Steve's like, ‘Remember when we did ‘Anchorman’?’”
Bale plays Dr. Michael Berry, a doctor with a knack for high-finance but who lacks communication skills. To get into character, Bale wore the same t-shirt and shorts Berry would wear and learned to play the drums to death metal tunes.
“[Playing drums] is very therapeutic, you know, banging the crap outta those things,” Bale said. “And we did actually demolish those drums when we were filming. I almost took a crew member's eye out with it.”
In telling Berry’s story, Bale said “ Mike was very understanding of the need for license.”
“I was very surprised how understanding he was of that,” he continued. “You want to stay absolutely truthful to him, because he is such a fascinating character.”
Gosling and Carell donned the power suits, but there was one piece of Gosling’s costume that the two actors couldn’t stop joking about.
“Putting on the wig… I felt like, ‘Oh I got this,’” Gosling said. “And then I walked out of the trailer and I saw Steve, and Steve went, ‘Never do this again.’”
“Such a horror show,” Carell said, laughing. “He’s such a good-looking human being, and it—he could not have looked creepier.”