Michael Caine, who played Batman’s faithful butler in The Dark Knight, is thrilled by the late Heath Ledger’s Oscar win for playing The Joker, “stunned” by Christian Bale’s infamous on-set outburst, and has hopes for another sequel, people.com reports.
“I’m so pleased,” the 76-year-old — himself a double Oscar winner — tells People of the posthumous Academy Award given to Ledger in February. “I thought that it was very important for his family as well. I was a big fan of his from the first time that I met him.”
Caine says he had a hunch when he watched Ledger work that the young actor would be honoured come Oscar time. “I was absolutely stunned by the way that he did it and the energy that went into it,” he says. “I thought if anyone is going to better that and get an Academy Award above him, I’d pay good money to see that.”
What did surprise Caine was his Dark Knight costar Bale’s profanity-laced tirade on the set of this summer’s Terminator: Salvation.
“That stunned me, because he’s not like that at all,” says Caine. “I would never have imagined Christian doing that. It’s completely out of character.”
Caine is expecting to return as Alfred Pennyworth for one more Batman film — if and when director Christopher Nolan is ready. He jokes, “I hope I’m still alive.”
Caine reveals the next Batman villain “would probably be The Riddler,” and he thinks the right actor may be able to rival Ledger’s indelible performance. “I thought it was going to be a tough job for anyone who played the role after Jack Nicholson” in 1989’s Batman, he says. “Now Heath is the Joker. So we’ll see.”