Christian Bale suffered panic attack in Kilmer's Batman suit

CHRISTIAN BALE insisted on a 20-minute break during his first BATMAN audition, so he could calm himself after a costume fitting led to a panic attack.

The British-born movie star, who will wrap up his Batman trilogy in The Dark Knight Rises later this month (Jul12), admits the dress rehearsal did not go well and he had to talk himself into getting used to the outfit.

Bale tells U.S. magazine Parade, "I think the very first time I put on the suit it was at the audition. It was Val Kilmer's (outfit from 1995's Batman Forever) so it didn't fit very well and the claustrophobia was just unbelievable.

"I stood there and I thought, 'I can't breathe. I can't think. This is too tight, this is squeezing my head. I'm about to have a nervous breakdown. I'm about to have a panic attack.'"

But the actor found a way to calm himself down: "I asked for 20 minutes by myself... and I stood there and thought, 'I'd really like to make this movie.' I have to get through this moment."

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