updated 07/28/2008 AT 12:00 PM ET
•originally published 07/28/2008 AT 1:30 PM ET
His blockbuster film The Dark Knight is obliterating box office records, but Christian Bale says the tally is secondary to the audience’s enthusiastic embrace of his late costar Heath Ledger.
“It’s satisfying to see people celebrating the incredible talent of Heath,” Bale said of Ledger’s performance as the villainous Joker. “I just want him to be recognized.”
While the film has earned $300 million in just 10 days, “I would have been happy with this movie even if it hadn’t broken so many box office records,” Bale told audience members at the film’s Tokyo premiere Monday. “I’m used to being in movies that five people go to!”
Adding that The Dark Knight “really raised the bar,” Bale was quick to point out that much of the success was due to Ledger.
Director Christopher Nolan added that Ledger was “what the Joker in our film would need to be.”
“[We were] looking for an actor with the fierceness, excitement and teeth to do our version of the Joker,” Nolan continued. “It’s very different.”
Bale deflected a question about how he’s been holding up since his London arrest, explaining “The fans are not here for me. They’re here for the movie. It speaks for itself.”