He may be an American Psycho but Christian Bale says even he's intimidated by the intensity of Samuel L. Jackson's John Shaft.

"I think that I had my work cut out for me appearing like somebody who could be an adversary to Sam," Bale tells TV Guide Online of his role as villain Walter Williams in the hit remake of Shaft. "He's personally a big guy and then he's got this incredible presence; he's quite an imposing guy. It was a real honor to be called 'mother----er" by Sam Jackson."

Bale says Jackson's not the only one who can stop traffic with his looks, though. "I am getting more recognition. It's not necessarily always very pleasing to see me, though, after being in American Psycho ? somewhat sort of drop-jaw expressions and a slight [look] of fear in people's eyes."

But Bale says he doesn't always want to be known as the bad guy. "I initially, after playing Bateman [in American Psycho], thought to myself, you know, that it's not a smart move for me to play the villain immediately afterwards. But this opportunity was too good to pass up." In fact, he adds, "The movie that originally I was told would be career suicide proved to be the opposite. I'm being considered for many more roles than ever in my life."

There's only one problem: Now Bale finds himself fearing for his life. "I saw the movie for the first time and I know that I'm doing my job well because everyone hated me. But it's still a bit disconcerting to sit in the theater and feel like I was going to get lynched afterwards, you know?"