Is Christian Bale's Favorite Film of All Time Really 'Beverly Hills Ninja'?: An Investigation


Is Christian Bale’s Favorite Film of All Time Really ‘Beverly Hills Ninja’?: An Investigation

It’s one of those unbelievable “fun facts” regurgitated on the Internet in slideshows and listicles. Oscar-winning actor Christian Bale’s favorite movie is, reportedly, the wackadoo, critically demolished 1997 Chris Farley comedy Beverly Hills Ninja.

Most of these sites don’t source this intel, though we were able to trace Bale’s first mention of the Farley film back to an Esquire interview from 2010. The now-42-year-old Dark Knight actor, while discussing his self-described low level of cinephiledom, casually mentions Ninja, saying “Chris Farley was just phenomenal” and the film “will always remain one of my tops.”

Related: Christian Bale Disappointed in His Batman Performances

So how did that shout-out balloon into widely accepted, fervently spread “fact” that Ninja is Bale’s biggest cinematic love? And is it accurate? We set out to get the bottom of this deeply important moderately intriguing mystery at a recent press junket for Bale’s new Terrence Malick-directed drama, Knight of Cups. We asked Bale what his favorite film of all-time is… then secretly prayed for the sanctity of the World Wide Web that he would in fact fire back, without the slightest hesitation, “the 1997 masterpiece Beverly Hills Ninja.”

“That’s a tricky one there, innit, you know,” the Welsh-born Bale, who has been known to do press with an American accent, said in his natural British brogue. “There’s just so many that fulfill different moments… There’s a film for different moods that you have.” The disappointment seeps into our psyche.

A moment of reflection for Bale, then…

“Oh! I always choose… the default answer for me is Beverly Hills Ninja.” [Ding ding ding!] Bale lets out a hearty laugh at the thought of it. “It’s an easy one to give because most people go, 'What? Oh, okay.’”

“But Chris Farley’s fantastic. Clearly I’ve got other films, but I just watched that two nights in a row and was crying with laughter both times, so I just went, 'Yeah I’ll give that as my answer.’” It was the fact that he loved it so much the first time, that “straightaway” he had to rewatch it the very next night (when he “laughed at all the same jokes”) that’s made it resonate.

Related: Christian Bale Plans to See 'Batman v Superman'… Eventually

Still, Bale admitted he’s only seen it those two times (“I don’t watch films that much,” he said) — which means both times came before that 2010 Esquire interview — which means he hasn’t revisited the movie in at least six years.

But there you have it. Christian Bale clearly knows you — no, we — love hearing that he loves the movie Beverly Hills Ninja. So rest easy, Internet. He’s letting us have this one.

Knight of Cups is now in theaters.