For all of Christian Bale's award-winning movie roles, there's one legacy he'll never be able to shake: playing the Caped Crusader in Christopher Nolan's iconic Dark Knight trilogy. But is he the best Batman of all time?
"It depends on who you talk with," the 42-year-old actor told ET at the Knight of Cups premiere on Tuesday. "You can't be Adam West, it just depends what you're in the mood for. I love watching Adam West."
Last week, Morgan Freeman, who played Lucius Fox in the Nolan trilogy told ET that for his money, no one will ever stack up to Bale's Batman.
"You know, I'm happy for Ben [Affleck, who dons the cowl in the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice], but I don't know how that's gonna work. Because the Dark Knight was almost 'it.' Pretty much 'it,'" Freeman said. "Did you see Batman Begins? I don't think you can beat that."
While Bale was happy to hear his co-stars praise, he was much more diplomatic in his answer.
"Everyone brings their own element to that -- Ben [Affleck] will do that as well," he added. "I think the trailers are looking great and I'm looking forward to that. But right on for Morgan [Freeman] for saying no one will ever be that, I very much like him."
After an Oscar-nominated turn in The Big Short, Bale stars in Knight of Cups, an experimental film by The Tree of Life director Terrence Malick. But, for the actor, it wasn't difficult to switch between two very different productions.
"It wasn't really a challenge once you accepted I didn't have a clue what was going to happen each and every day," he said. "I was alright with it, because Terry is sort of delighted with everything that happens and I can tell you there must be three or four decent films on the cutting room floor. I like Terry so much and he creates such a fun, easy atmosphere. I don't look back on it thinking it was a challenge."
Rumored to be Malick's most experimental film to date, Knight of Cups stars Bale as a Rick, a Hollywood screenwriter. The film is divided into eight chapters, with each chapter loosely focusing on a different person in Rick's life. Producer and financier Ken Kao told The Hollywood Reporter last year that the movie, which began filming in 2012, is "a stream-of-consciousness film."
"I enjoy being a part of something that is an attempt at creating a different experience in film and definitely Terry's trying to do that," Bale said of the experience. "To me, it's more akin to a piece of music or a book where you feel like there's a very personal significance to you, which may be very, very different to the person next to you. He doesn't tell you how you're meant to be feeling, he just enjoys seeing what happens with the actors and seeing what the audience would feel."