July 17, 2012 6:35am PT by Erin Carlson
'Dark Knight Rises' Star Christian Bale on Ending the Batman Saga: 'It's Sad to Say Goodbye' (Video)
When Christian Bale donned the Batman suit for the last time, he needed some alone time to process the end of an era.
"It was a nice occasion because I took a little bit of time after we wrapped and just said, 'give me a few minutes' because I knew I wouldn't be able to put it back on again and the cowl ... and it was funny. It was a surprisingly poignant moment for me," Bale tells THR.
(He kept the cowl, or the mask, as a memento.)
The Dark Knight Rises, which had its red-carpet premiere Monday in New York City, is slated to break previous Batman-related box office records when it opens in theaters Friday. It's the third and final installment in Christopher Nolan's epic reboot of the superhero franchise with Bale as Bruce Wayne.
"I've been very proud that people have wanted to see more. You know, we made the first one and didn't really expect to make a second one. We hoped, and that happened, and we got to make a second one," he says.
"But each time, we'd always say to each other, 'Don't expect that you're going to make any more.' So it's really great that people have liked it so much and they've enjoyed our reinvention under the guidance of Chris. And it's sad to say goodbye but it feels like the right time," he adds.
If Nolan were to, say, backtrack on his commitment to ending the franchise with The Dark Knight Rises, would Bale reprise the role?
"I'd be very skeptical about doing it," he says. "I'll never say never. What if Chris finds a great story that he decides that he wants ... well, I'm not sure that it's possible entirely. It's a tricky one to answer."