Christian Bale

Christian Bale brings intensity to any role he plays, but appears to have finally learned how to keep his cool. (Photo by Mikael Jansson for WSJ. Magazine)

Christian Bale Ups His Cool Quotient in WSJ Mag (Click Photos to Enlarge!)

Christian Bale, who is still trying to live down his infamous 2009 outburst on the set of “Terminator Salvation,” calls George Clooney a “whiner,” in a new interview. Has the explosive actor finally learned how to keep his cool?

Bale makes the comments in the new Holiday issue of WSJ, the Wall Street Journal’s magazine.

Bale is facing some controversy (not of his own making) over the casting in his latest movie, “Exodus: Gods and Kings.”

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The film is being criticized because Bale and Australian Joel Edgerton, who are both white, are playing characters who were historically African or Semitic.

He partially addresses the criticism in the interview.

“We just felt, let’s make an attempt,” he says of his character, Moses.

“I mean, no matter what we do, it’s inaccurate—we’re speaking English, for God’s sake! I mean, the whole thing, the basis, is an inaccuracy, but we’re trying to get the feeling, the emotion, hopefully.”

Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy in Dark Knight

Bale is used to controversy, going back to his screaming incident on the “Terminator Salvation” set. He was caught on tape berating a lighting engineer for accidentally walking into a scene. (see below)

The four-minute meltdown is infamous because it contains no less than 39 F-bombs.

The movie was trashed by critics, receiving only a 33 percent rating on rottentomatoes, which tracks reviews, although it did a respectable $125.3 million gross at the box office.

He apologized shortly afterward. “I acted like a punk,” he said, calling his outburst “inexcusable.”

Now he says, “Look, it didn’t work regardless. But if [the film] was going to fail, I wanted it to fail on its own merits. (Laughs) Not because people said what an asshole I am, you know?”

These days Bale is all about exhibiting his coolness. So much so, he took Clooney, the ultimate in medium cool, to task for constantly complaining about his lack of privacy and invasive tabloids.

“It doesn’t matter that he talks about it,” he says. “It’s like, come on, guys, just shut up. Just get on with it and live your lives and stop whining about it. I prefer not to whine about it.”

As for his own attitude about the media, “…Some people poke you like you’re an animal in a zoo, looking for a response,” he says.

“If you’re smart, you don’t give it to them. If you’re dumb, occasionally, like me, you give it to them. And then they’ve basically got what they wanted. I usually regret it afterwards.”

He also says he’s cool about losing the Best Actor Oscar to Matthew McConaughey last year. He was up for “American Hustle; McConaughey won for “Dallas Buyers Club.”

“I hate it when you’ve got to get excited about every damn thing that happens. There are certain moments that you go, ‘It doesn’t mean much to me.’ I hate to sound like an ass, but I was all good with it,” he says.

Wow, sounds like he’s finally got his hot head under control. For more from the interview, check out WSJ online, and check out Bale’s photos from the interview.