Unless there’s a scene in Glory with Denzel Washington that I’m misremembering, Christian Bale is the first person to ever be nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a movie involving Pantera’s “By Demons Be Driven.”
In The Big Short, Bale plays Dr. Michael Burry, a hedge fund manager with Asperger’s syndrome who has a hard time socializing. He finds his peace by blasting Metallica in his office, which is the American dream. In one particularly memorable scene, Bale drums along to “By Demons,” from 1992’s legendary Vulgar Display of Power, to calm himself when he’s stressed out.
Christian Bale has fought the Joker, starved himself, and seized the day, but before The Big Short (a very good movie that everyone should see), he never had a reason to pick up a set of drumsticks. It’s a skill he needed to learn for the Pantera scene, and one that he mastered in two weeks.
“It was a wonderful crash course, double kick drum. Pantera, ‘By Demons Be Driven’ – fantastic song to begin with. This is how Mike Burry unwound. This is actually how he calmed down. He would listen to it all day long in his headphones – and not just that, Mastodon as well – but his brain is on fire so much that death metal calms him. He’s a very different individual to most of us.” (Via)
If Bale wins (and there’s a chance, if voters confuse him for J.K. Simmons, who won for a drum-heavy role in Whiplash last year), he should play “Live in a Hole” on Mark Ruffalo’s head.