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Video:Christian Bale Interview - Public Enemies

with Rebecca Murray

Christian Bale stars as FBI Agent Melvin Purvis in 'Public Enemies' directed by Michael Mann. As Purvis, Bale pursues one of the America's most wanted gangsters of the 1930s - John Dillinger (Johnny Depp) - in this thriller based on true events.See Transcript

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Transcript:Christian Bale Interview - Public Enemies

Rebecca Murray from About.com Hollywood Movies at the LA Premiere of Public Enemies.

Christian Bale - 'Melvin Purvis' in Public Enemies

These FBI agents were making up the rules as they went along. So how was that to work on that type of project where you're playing a cop who doesn't really know what's going on?

Christian Bale: "Well it was a time where the law enforcement were at such a disadvantage, you know? And like you said, it was a crazy situation where you could have Dillinger breaking his friends out of prison, holding up a bank, and then he just has to drive across the state line. And with my character Purvis being a Fed, he had no jurisdiction over him. It wasn't until actually Dillinger stole an automobile and took it across the state line that the Feds could get involved in that. The Feds couldn't even carry weapons until after the Kansas City Massacre. So they were outnumbered. They were outgunned. They had no technology for communicating with each other whatsoever. The odds against them actually catching these guys were miniscule."

And Purvis had a bad relationship with J Edgar Hoover going on, too, so he was fighting against that.

Christian Bale: "It started off wonderfully but then went very south, yeah."

Why are we still fascinated with that time frame?

Christian Bale: "I think it's the dying days of the Wild West."

Tell me about working on this film and specifically about working on a film set in the 1930s. That must have been really interesting.

Don Frye - 'Clarence Hurt' in Public Enemies

Don Frye: "It was. We got to go to the actual spots, you know? It wasn't shot in the studio. It was on location and we were up there at Little Bohemia and did the shoot-out. And one night we had rain, we had 40 mile an hour winds, we had snow, we had sleet...we got it all in one night."

So you're one of the guys who comes in and helps the FBI?

Don Frye: "Yeah, I'm one of the Texas Rangers."

So you're one of the tough guys that teaches the FBI how to handle law enforcement?

Don Frye: "Nobody tougher than a Texas Ranger, I'll tell you that."

Were you familiar with the story and how they were involved?

Don Frye: "Yeah. I read the book Public Enemies. I was a history major in college and so it all fell into place."

Well then why, being a history major, do you think we're still so interested in that time period and specifically in these criminals?

Don Frye: "They had style - style over substance. He'd show up in a three-piece suit. He's flamboyant, well-educated, a smooth talker. He had the girls and he had the guns."

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