Actor Christian Bale says the racial tensions explored in his new American western drama Hostiles are “more relevant than ever” because of President Donald Trump’s “absolute, disgusting nature of political whims” and Republican policies focussed on “taking care of the elite rather than the masses.”
“It’s just frankly stunning in this day and age that we’re having to deal with this,” Bale told The Hollywood Reporter at a screening Thursday for the Scott Cooper-directed film.
“This tax bill, etcetera, this is not what America was built on,” Bale said, perhaps referencing the recently released Republican tax cut bill matriculating through Congress.
“I adore this country, it’s my adopted home — I moved here, I left my own country because I love this country so much; my children speak with an American accent,” said Bale, the United Kingdom-born actor best known for his roles in hit movies like American Psycho and Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight franchise. “Hopefully we’ll come through this for something far better, but we’re going through real trial right now.”
Hostiles sees Bale as a U.S. Cavalry officer tasked with escorting a Cheyenne war chief and his family back to their home in Montana in 1892. Both sides must put their racist beliefs aside to survive the dangerous trek across the country.
“The majority of America is shocked at what it has become,” Bale said. “They’re shocked to see the hatred and division that has occurred within America — that attitudes towards people of different opinions, attitudes towards refugees. … It’s a genuine tragedy. But we have been here before; we can learn from that.”
Bale has become a vocal critic of Trump, claiming in April that the president’s criticism of the media could put the U.S. on a path to dictatorship.
“It’s like we’re watching somebody reading a ‘Dictatorship for Dummies’ book,” said Bale, who gained weight and shaved his head for his role as former Vice President Dick Cheney in an upcoming biopic, Backseat, from writer-director Adam McKay.
Hostiles co-stars Jesse Plemons, Q’orianka Kilcher, Wes Studi, and Rory Cochrane, and is et for a limited release on December 22.