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Some Very Important People Lobbied Christian Bale To Join Thor: Love And Thunder

Christian Bale has had an extraordinary career in Hollywood that spans three-and-a-half decades and counting, beginning in film in 1987 as a young teen in a starring role opposite John Malkovich in director Steven Spielberg's World War II epic "Empire of the Sun." After that, Bale was blessed with many other plum roles throughout his teens and early 20s, with roles in the 1992 musical "Newsies," followed by "Swing Kids" and "Portrait of a Lady" in 1993, and "Velvet Goldmine" in 1998. In 2000, Bale made a startling transition to more adult roles with his terrifying turn as sadistic bank executive Patrick Bateman in the crime-horror thriller "American Psycho."

While Bale has taken on roles in a variety of different genres over his illustrious career, many fans identify the actor for his work in the superhero realm in director Christopher Nolan's "Dark Knight" trilogy. Kicking the film series off with "Batman Begins" in 2005, and following up with "The Dark Knight" in 2008 and "The Dark Knight Rises" in 2012, Bale won acclaim for taking up the mantle of the iconic DC character Bruce Wayne and his alter-ego Batman. Bale was so convincing in the role that it became hard for fans to imagine him in any other comic book movie role other than the famed Caped Crusader.

Now, 10 years after the release of the last "Dark Knight" film, Bale is back in the superhero world in the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe phase with "Thor: Love and Thunder," and we have some people from the actor's inner circle to thank for it.

Bale says his kids told him to join Thor: Love and Thunder

Chris Hemsworth returns in the titular role in "Thor: Love and Thunder," and his nemesis this time around is Christian Bale's villainous Gorr the God Butcher. Given Bale's immense talents — which have earned him the best supporting actor Oscar for 2010's "The Fighter," and three more acting Oscar nods — there's no question that the performer has the wherewithal to pull off any role he takes on.

In a red carpet interview during the Hollywood premiere of the fourth "Thor" film, Bale explained that he generally looks at the talent involved before joining a project. Sometimes, though, it takes more than filmmakers the caliber of Taika Waititi ("Thor: Ragnarok") to convince the venerable actor that he's making the right move. In the case of "Thor: Love and Thunder," Bale said her followed the advice of his children when deciding on whether to join the film's cast or not.

"I always just look at who's directing it, who are the people involved, is it a good story, am I gonna get something out of it," Bale told Variety. "With this one, it was my kids saying to me, 'By the way, you're doing this one,' and I went, 'Am I really?' And they said, 'Yes you are,' and I went, 'OK, yes I am.'"

Bale's children carry quite a bit of clout, considering "Thor: Love and Thunder" also stars Natalie Portman and Tessa Thompson. "I'm there for Taika and for Chris and Natalie and Tessa and the whole crowd, and I originally thought, 'Yeah, that's not gonna work,' and I stand corrected by my kids," the actor added.

"Thor: Love and Thunder" opens exclusively in theaters Friday, July 8.