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DEC
16
4 YEARS

Christian Bale vs. Mark Wahlberg on 'Charlie Rose': 'I Can Whip His Ass'

The Big Deals: Relativity
JoJo Whilden/Paramount

Director David O. Russell, Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale got in the ring with Charlie Rose last night, and the winner was The Fighter.

The Fighter, the $11 million contender from nowhere, is winning round after round in the Oscar race.

Today, its four SAG noms tied with The King's Speech, in addition to Tuesday's Globe noms for Wahlberg and best picture, and Monday's New York Film Critics Circle win for supporting actress Melissa Leo. Sports Illustrated hails cover boys Bale and Wahlberg for making "the sports movie of the decade" and the seventh-best boxing flick in history. Not bad for a film that had to keep trading down potential costars, from Brad Pitt to Matt Damon and finally to Bale, as time and luck looked like they were running out.

On Charlie Rose, the infamously scrappy Bale said of Wahlberg, "I can still whip his ass, but he's good. He looks good, right? I mean, to be honest."

"I think we should set up a fight to promote the movie," said Wahlberg. "We can do it now!," offered Rose.

But it was of course a lovefest. "I'm tellin' you, this guy is gonna run Hollywood if he isn't already," said Bale. "He might be, behind the scenes."

Russell said, "The first time I met [Wahlberg] as a mumbling guy off Boogie Nights, on a couch, and 15 years later I'm sayin', 'Godfather, godfather, let's just put this movie together.' "

Maybe this godfather could put a hit on a king and a fictionalized CEO.

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