Christian Bale is currently making the press rounds in support of The Flowers of War. While the actor is usually tight-lipped about his most anticipated upcoming project, The Dark Knight Rises, he did take a few moments to address his new co-stars and the fact that he recently shot his last scene, ever, as Batman.

It is true. After The Dark Knight Rises, both director Christopher Nolan and actor Christian Bale will retire from the world of Gotham City forever. And Bale has already worn Bruce Wayne's hi-tech costume for the last time.

"I wrapped a few days ago so that will be the last time I'm taking that cowl [Batman hood] off. I believe that the whole production wrapped yesterday, so it's all done. Everything's finished. It's me and Christopher Nolan - that will be the end of that Batman era."

The actor went onto say that he's enjoyed the experience of playing Batman, and then broke down the character of Bruce Wayne.

"We always maintained from the beginning that if you wanted to break it down, there are three personas - Batman is sincere, the private Bruce Wayne is sincere. The public version of Bruce Wayne, the playboy, is a completely fabricated performance."

For the first time, Christian Bale opened up about his newest co-stars, Anne Hathaway, who stars as Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman), Tom Hardy who plays Bane, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who appears as police officer John Blake.

First, Bale praised Anne Hathaway original screen test.

"I had plenty of scenes with Anne Hathaway. And I was there when we did the screen test for her. The thing that I said to Christopher Nolan that day was that there were many very accomplished actresses who had read for the role. I'm terrible at auditions, so I'm very impressed when somebody really seems to acquire an ownership of a character without having worked on it or prepared for some amount of time. I saw that in Anne Hathaway. When Christopher Nolan watched the screen test, he agreed that Anne Hathaway did a wonderful job. In many ways, she has the hardest job. There are a number of people who feel that the Catwoman role has been defined previously. So, I always saw Anne Hathaway's role as being the toughest job of any of us. In my case, I've stopped referencing outside sources. I now reference Chris' own world of Batman as a guide to what I will continue doing."

Christian Bale continued by speaking out on Tom Hardy's performance as Bane.

"(He is) a phenomenal actor. I like working with him a great deal. He goes the whole hog. I know that Bane has been seen in movies before. But, in my eyes, Tom Hardy is essentially creating Bane for the first time so there's great freedom for him to be able to do so.

Lastly, Christian threw some praise in the direction of newcomer Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who is playing police officer John Blake.

"Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a very intriguing guy. I would see Joseph's performances in other films while we were filming. He's somebody who truly seems to love acting. He's a good, smart guy. He did a very good job in the movie."

The recent images of Bane and Batman from Empire Magazine have also been made available in Hi-Res. Check them out below. And to read more from Christian Bale: CLICK HERE

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<strong><em>The Dark Knight Rises</em></strong> Empire Photo #1

<strong><em>The Dark Knight Rises</em></strong> Empire Photo #2

<strong><em>The Dark Knight Rises</em></strong> Empire Photo #3

<strong><em>The Dark Knight Rises</em></strong> Empire Photo #4

B. Alan Orange