Local cinephiles should look fast for an East Bay landmark in cinemas this month. Christian Bale (Batman Begins, The Prestige) filmed scenes of his new movie, Rescue Dawn, aboard the USS Hornet at Alameda Point. The Vietnam War–era drama, directed by Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man), received rave reviews when it premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in September. The film tells the story of U.S. Air Force pilot Dieter Dengler, whose plane was shot down over Laos. Dengler spent several months in a Laotian prison before escaping.
Oakland resident Jason Jurgens, a frequent Diablo contributor, was an extra on the Hornet shoot. “It was fun to be a part of it—to see how a movie is made. Christian Bale was a nice guy,” he says. Jurgens is excited to see Rescue Dawn on the big screen but somewhat hesitant about having to buy a ticket. “I never got paid for my work!” he says. “As far as I know, none of the other extras ever got their pay either.”