Christian Bale fondly remembers his ‘park time’ in Chicago

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Charlotte Le Bon and Christian Bale in “The Promise.” | Open Road Films

LOS ANGELES — As Christian Bale thinks fondly of the time he has spent in Chicago in recent years, filming two “Batman” flicks as well as”Public Enemies.”

“I loved the park time,” said Bale. “We would enjoy taking my daughter to the park in the morning. … There are so many beautiful parks in Chicago. We would have a lot of fun with her on the swings there. … We also loved that beautifully reflective, shiny ‘Bean’ there in Millennium Park — my daughter and I would always love walking over there.

“Chicago is also a great city for walking around in the evenings in the summertime. You never know what you might find — like once we saw like 200 people doing salsa dancing — and we had the fun of joining in with that! When I think of Chicago, there’s lots of good memories. … I know my way around, even around Lower Wacker [Drive]!” quipped Bale, smiling as he remembered where some of the key Batmobile chase scenes were filmed.

In his new film “The Promise” (opening Friday), Bale plays an American photojournalist whose relationship with an Armenian-French teacher (Charlotte Le Bon) is threatened as World War I erupts in the Ottoman Empire.

“Not many people know about the Armenian genocide [a key focus of the film] — including me. In doing the research, I realized how few people were aware of this story. Those are the kinds of stories I think cinema can illuminate and bring to so many people around the world. … I also like the fact that [director] Terry [George] was able to tell this story about these horrible atrocities done in such barbaric fashion without showing all that mayhem on screen. That’s a very difficult way of telling that kind of story — but it was so effective here,” said Bale. “He wanted to give a sense of it, but do it off-screen. I liked his ambition in trying to achieve that.”

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