Christian Bale Drew Inspiration From A Classic TV Series For His Amsterdam Character

In David O. Russell's newest film, "Amsterdam," Christian Bale, John David Washington, and Margot Robbie star as three best friends in the 1930s who become embroiled in a murder mystery. What truly makes this movie stand out from the crowd is its star-studded cast, which, besides the three mentioned, includes the likes of Robert De Niro, Chris Rock, Taylor Swift, Mike Myers, and many more. With an ensemble as diverse and talented as this it's hard not to get excited. I mean, who wouldn't be tickled if Mike Myers and Robert De Niro interacted on screen?

David O. Russell has been notoriously hard to work with in the past, but with such hits as "Silver Linings Playbook" and "American Hustle" under his belt, many are looking forward to his newest outing, especially considering Bale's heavy involvement in the creative process.

With his career as a superhero now most likely finished, Bale worked with Russell for seven years to develop this latest project, with the COVID-19 pandemic proving a major obstacle in getting the film made. But now, they've finally done it, and in a recent interview with Deadline, Bale and Russell talk about the discussions that led to the film's creation, as well as the influence "Columbo" has had on Bale's role.

Taking cues from Columbo

Bale has mentioned in the past that he often prefers playing villains to heroes, finding it to be an easier role to jump into. This may be why, according to the interview, he studied the facial expressions and mannerisms of Peter Falk's Columbo in order to prepare for his time solving a mystery on the silver screen.

When asked directly if "Columbo" was an influence, Bale was not shy. "Absolutely. Yes. Yes. His mannerisms! I studied him for sure."

Bale is known for taking on often physically transformative roles, often going to physical extremes to embody his characters. While he, thankfully, didn't remove his eye in order to physically replicate "Columbo" star Peter Falk's real-life glass eye, Bale surely went as far as he could to bring features of Falk's performance into his.

Frank Columbo, the main character in the 1960's detective television show "Columbo," is considered by many to be one of the greatest TV crime-solvers of all time. Columbo stood in direct contrast to most detectives in fiction up to that point. Up to then, when people imagined a fictional detective, they thought of high-class and highly educated figures like Sherlock Holmes. Columbo was different. He was a blue-collar detective with a face as wrinkled as his jacket. He didn't look the part, and people often underestimated him, but he always solved the case in the end.

With features like Columbo's one working eye as well as his overall inelegant and uncouth demeanor in contrast to his vast intellect, it's clear to see that Bale's "Amsterdam" character takes some amount of inspiration from Peter Falk's legendary character. One can only hope he proves as adept at solving mysteries as Columbo himself.