Christian Bale is currently preparing to play former veep Dick Cheney in political drama Backseat – and as we all know, he likes to take a deep dive into whichever role he takes on.
Not content with transforming his body beyond recognition, it appears the 43-year-old actor has also been having a good old think about American society and the power wielded by those at the very top.
Now Bale has put forward a damning criticism of his adopted country’s present in advance of another role that looks at its past.
While promoting his new western Hostiles, the intense Hollywood star got chatting to talkshow AOL Build alongside his co-stars Rosamund Pike and Wes Studi.
Far from the traditional heroic spaghetti western, Hostiles tells a much more complicated and unforgiving tale of early settlers and Native Americans.
The focus here is on the injustices suffered by Native Americans, with the conflict ultimately dehumanising those involved. As the actors discuss on AOL Build, this revisionist drama focuses on how bigotry leads to self-hatred, misery and profound guilt.
You can watch the gripping trailer for Hostiles below:
Various topics were discussed during the talkshow segment. This included the need for diverse representation across various sectors of American culture, with the stars commenting on the worryingly prevalent issue of racial tensions within the US.
Cherokee actor Studi commented on the - sadly still highly relevant - themes of racism and prejudice within the film, drawing from his own personal experiences:
As a person of colour, I think I've lived with this for the larger part of my life. The unfortunate thing now is since November things have sort of turned back to where all of that is much more acceptable, much more like, say, when I was a young man.
But over the years it seemed like we really made some strides in society to at least hide that part of our personality, our societal personality.
Bale in particular focused on the importance of having people from various backgrounds in position of power, which he believes would be beneficial for everyone:
Our culture will be so much richer the day that we stop saying ‘Hey it’s all white dudes who are running things.' Whether that be Hollywood, whether that be Washington, you know.
We’re going to get, in Hollywood, so much better films and so much more interesting stories being told and America will become the America that the rest of the world sees it as, that makes it unique.
Despite acknowledging there are issues within America, Bale is clearly proud of his adopted nation; describing it as being 'such a beautiful, brilliant country' as well as 'a country of inclusion.'
He added, 'It’s the reason why I moved [my family] here... It’s the reason why my kids have American accents.'
Bale's opinions reflect those of many people who are concerned by a resurgence of fascism and white supremacy in the US.
It is important to have people from a broad range of communities and backgrounds in positions of influence, and to hear such a high profile actor speak out about this is encouraging.
However, not everybody was happy with Bale's analysis.
One person tweeted, 'Christian Bale is a fine actor, but when people like him come from another country and make their success and fortune in the USA why not keep your opinions to yourself about our country. You can always return from where you came from.'
Another said, 'So, each pair of gender and race should be running everything? What about the knowledge, capability, of each individual? I understand what he wants to say, but I think he needs to be detailed on how it should be, instead of what he wants. And what is he doing on his part?'
Christian Bale is a fine actor, but when people like him come from another country and make their success and fortune in the USA why not keep your opinions to yourself about our country. You can always return from where you came from🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸
— Frank Stallone (@Stallone) December 17, 2017
America doesn't "seethe hatred and division."
You celebs & the media want that - badly - but you aren't 1% of the nation.
Trump is doing his job, well.
Maybe you should stick to what you do.
— Philip Schuyler (@FiveRights) December 19, 2017
So, each pair of gender and race should be running everything? What about the knowledge, capability, of each individual?
I understand what he wants to say, but I think he needs to be detailed on how it should be, instead of what he wants. And what is he doing on his part?
— Maria (@dolphinsandorka) December 20, 2017
Hostiles will be released in UK cinemas January 5, 2018.