“Terminator Salvation” director McG said the now-infamous July 2008 blow up on the film’s set, between star Christian Bale and director of photography Shane Hurlbut, was entirely his fault.
“It broke my heart, because I take all the responsibility for protecting my actors on the set day in and day out, and it’s my responsibility to make sure that they can be free to express themselves in anyway they like and it’s a real violation of the family of the set community,” the director told Access Hollywood’s Nancy O’Dell about the release of the audio where Bale is heard ranting against Hurlbut.
“You can take anything out of context and you also don’t want artists censoring their performance, so you gotta be really careful with that,” McG continued. “You have faith that those outtakes never get out, to the Web sites or on the streets, in any capacity that would be unflattering or not in the service of the picture.”
The director told Nancy tensions were running high on the set that day intentionally.
“We were making effectively a war scene, and I wanted the blood up of all my actors… what would be more offensive — if people just sort of sleep their way through a performance?” he said. “Everybody was very wound up and everybody was fired up and I wanted him that way… I riled him up! I deserve all the blame, in fact, throw me right under the bus.”
And despite the severity of Bale’s tongue lashing, McG said the actor and cinematographer are close and quickly made up after the incident.
“I’m happy to report that Christian and Shane Hurlbert and actually friends and later that day we just kept on truckin’, so it was indeed taken out of context,” he said.
Adding, “Christian is a very good guy, he’s got no entourage, drives around in a pickup truck, no assistant, he’s just focused on being an actor, and he’s really really a good guy.”
McG also told Nancy the release of the audio is currently being investigated.
“That’s the proprietary material of Warner Bros. and Sony and the owners of the franchise… it was wildly illegal for that to be leaked in that capacity,” he said, explaining they are in the process identifying the person responsible for the leak.
Adding, “I feel like I owe it to my actor because it happened on my watch, and I take it very very seriously in that respect.”
“Terminator Salvation,” directed by McG and starring Bale, Sam Worthington and Bryce Dallas Howard, opens May 21 in theaters.