Actor Christian “Batman” Bale is a hero to a 10-year old boy I’ll identify as “M.”
And it all happened under the radar, minus the Batmobile and without the cape.
• The backshot: Several weeks ago, Bale, who is interested in child welfare and foster care, came to Chicago to visit SOS Children’s Village Chicago at 76th and Parnell.
• The backstory: The mega-talented Brit actor didn’t want publicity; he arrived sporting a beard and wearing a cap. He was intent on a two-day visit “seeking information on developing a community in Los Angeles like SOS, which provides a home environment for siblings in foster care,” said a source.
• The upshot: Bale, who spent a great deal of time in Chicago filming “The Dark Knight” Batman movie, encountered M when he quietly visited one of the SOS homes unannounced . . . and walked into the youngster’s room — which was decorated almost entirely in Batman paraphernalia.
• Bale “had no idea [M] was a Batman fan . . . and [M] had no idea who this strange visitor was,” said civic leader Lynn Kiley, an SOS Village advocate.
“Imagine his surprise when he found out Batman was in his room! Even M’s teacher didn’t believe him, so he produced a picture and an autograph,” Kiley said.
• The final shot: A letter dispatched by M to “Dear Mr. Chris/ Batman” read:
“Wow! I’m still in shock Batman was actually at my house. I was so scared to learn I was going to a foster home but when I was told that me and my sisters (3) would all be together. I felt a little better. Then once I got to SOS Children Village I thought to my self this is a nice home. I have my own room and my foster parent asked me what character did I want to do my room in. I didn’t know because I never had a room before.
“I said ok let’s do Batman and Spiderman. Ms. Robyn said that didn’t go together. I thought it did until Monday when I met you. Spiderman never came to my house. Batman actually stood in my room. So guess what — the room is now yours (Batman all the way.)
“You going to my house make me believe a lot of things can come true and now you made my foster home the best thing that ever happened to me. If you do another ‘Dark Knight’ movie in Chicago can I come watch you do the stunts to see how you make it happen. Thank you for coming to SOS Children Village and my house it really is a good place to come hang out at.”
• P.S. In case you are wondering, SOS focuses on family-based, long-term care for children and their siblings — where they can grow up in a stable family environment in a village setting.
Batman is beautiful.