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Surviving Werner Herzog

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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SURVIVORS Bale, Brand, Zahn (left to right)

Known for injuries, near-death incidents, and sheer madness on his sets, director Werner Herzog hasn't slowed down with age. Maybe it's because his actors—namely Christian Bale and Steve Zahn, in his latest, Rescue Dawn—who take most of the heat-stroked, maggot-eating, weight-losing, snake-biting abuse.

Not that they weren't into it.

"Werner's guerrilla shooting style was tough on the cast," Los Angeles Clipper Elton Brand, one of the producers of the film, said at the special screening Monday in the Dolby Screening Room in Midtown Manhattan. "But when Christian had to eat maggots, he wanted to eat maggots. When he slid down the hill, he wanted to slide down the hill," Brand says.

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Bale added that there were rapids and waterfalls, and helicopters that were chopping the tops of trees. "There are not many films that allow you to experience that, and I loved it."

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