Thor: Love and Thunder star Christian Bale criticizes the excessive use of green screen in the Marvel movie, calling it “the definition of monotony.”
Christian Bale hated how much green screen was used in Thor: Love and Thunder. Known for his versatility and physical transformations for his roles, the Oscar-winning actor made his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in Thor: Love and Thunder as Gorr the God Butcher, the film’s villain who, after the death of his daughter Love, acquires the Necrosword and seeks the extinction of all gods. Other than Bale, Love and Thunder starred Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Russell Crowe, and Natalie Portman.
As a major studio tentpole, Thor: Love and Thunder made extensive use of VFX and green screens to bring its fantastical environments and set pieces to life. Green screens have become a common tool on big-budget Hollywood productions, but actors don’t always enjoy performing in front of them since there’s nothing practical to react to, and it can make the job more difficult. Even a seasoned thespian like Bale could struggle, especially if they were new to green screens.
During a recent interview with GQ promoting his new movie Amsterdam, Bale reflected on his Marvel debut from earlier this year and specifically, his first extensive experience with green-screen acting. The Thor: Love and Thunder star does not remember the experience fondly, calling it “the definition of monotony.” Read what he said below:
That’s the first time I’ve done that. I mean, the definition of it is monotony. You’ve got good people. You’ve got other actors who are far more experienced at it than me. Can you differentiate one day from the next? No. Absolutely not. You have no idea what to do. I couldn’t even differentiate one stage from the next. They kept saying, “You’re on Stage Three.” Well, it’s like, “Which one is that?” “The blue one.” They’re like, “Yeah. But you’re on Stage Seven.” “Which one is that?” “The blue one.” I was like, “Uh, where?”
Why Do Marvel Movies Use So Much Green Screen?
The MCU’s excessive use of green screens is hardly a new criticism of the franchise. However, this was Bale’s first experience with this type of production and his first time speaking about it publicly. Having no prior experience with acting in front of a green screen, it must have been difficult for Bale who is more used to practical filmmaking. One of Bale’s most famous roles is Bruce Wayne/Batman in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, a director who famously goes to great lengths to avoid using green screen.
The main reason why Marvel movies use so much green screen and CGI is so they can make movies faster, rather than having to physically build practical sets which takes significant time. While experienced MCU actors like Hemsworth are accustomed to green-screen acting by now, it can be unnatural for newcomers like Bale who had no prior experience. Based on his comments, it doesn’t sound like he enjoyed his first green-screen acting experience. Even if Gorr didn’t die during the end of Thor: Love and Thunder, Bale probably wouldn’t be interested in returning to the MCU anyway.