Christian Bale on J. G. Ballard

Childhood star of Empire of the Sun reflects on Ballard's recent passing
Christian Bale as Jim in 'Empire of the Sun' (dir. Steven Spielberg, 1987)
Christian Bale shares his thoughts on the British author J. G. Ballard, who passed away in April of this year (via Ballardian):
Christian Bale saw an important part of his own life slip away with the recent death in London of novelist J.G. Ballard.

Ballard was best-known for his science fiction, but there were times when he abandoned this world for a more gritty reality. His best-selling Empire of the Sun, was based on his own childhood experiences in a Japanese internment camp during the Second World War. When Steven Spielberg decided to direct a film version, he cast a young Christian Bale as the boy.

Bale says he was shocked to hear of Ballard's death from cancer in the spring because he and a director friend wanted to film one of Ballard's other books. Bale had been looking forward to renewing acquaintance with this seminal figure from the past - but this was not to be.

"He was such a great mind, such a great writer,'' says Bale, who stars in the current Public Enemies. "It was surprisingly emotional for me. It was somebody I consider to have been at the beginning of my deciding to become an actor. He was an astonishing writer, so unique.''

Bale still hopes to bring another Ballard book to the screen, but he will miss the chance to see him again. "I'll definitely miss being able to catch up with him - no longer as a 13-year-old boy.''