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Christian Bale Confirms What We Suspected About The Inspiration For His Amsterdam Character

"Amsterdam" is an upcoming mystery film starring approximately one-third of Hollywood. We don't have the exact numbers on that, but it feels right. 

Among the many featured talents are notable performers like Margot Robbie, John David Washington, Anya Taylor-Joy, Chris Rock, Michael Shannon, Mike Meyers (pause for comedic breath), Taylor Swift, Timothy Olyphant, Zoe Saldana, Rami Malek, and Robert DeNiro. The film is, however, the creation of David O. Russel — the writer and director — and Christian Bale, the latter also stars in the production. While such a lineup is almost standard for larger-scale mysteries (consider the casting of "Knives Out" and "Murder on the Orient Express," as well as both of their respective sequels), the sheer enormity of this list is still impossible to ignore. 

And with so many names, there must come an equal amount of characters, each of whom must be either visually or emotionally distinct enough to carve out their own piece of the film. In so doing, Bale confirmed that his role was physically inspired by a performer who is no longer with us, the late Peter Falk. 

Christian Bale took inspiration from the late Peter Falk

In an interview with Deadline's Mike Fleming Jr., Christian Bale and David O. Russel discussed the mechanics behind their newest project, "Amsterdam." At the very end of the interview, Fleming asked Bale, "Your character has one working eye, the other is glass, and he has a familiar manner of interacting with others onscreen. Did you gain any inspiration from Peter Falk's long-running TV mystery series 'Columbo'?" To this, Bale replied, "Absolutely. Yes. Yes. His mannerisms! I studied him for sure."

For those who haven't seen it, Fleming summarizes "Columbo" pretty well. Starring Peter Falk (who, among many things, starred as the Grandfather and the Narrator in "The Princess Bride"), "Columbo" is an NBC-turned-ABC American crime drama that follows the titular detective, Frank Columbo. Now, it is not a plot point that Columbo has a fake eye, but in real life, Falk did. As noted by The Florida Times-Union, the late actor lost an eye to cancer at the early age of three. Falk's entire career as a performer could arguably be used as inspirational material for Bale's "Amsterdam" character, Bert Berendson, but Falk's prolonged venture into the "whodunnit" genre seems the perfect fit.