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December 12, 2022

John Fetterman has a cameo in 'The Pale Blue Eye' because his face 'fits the 1830s,' Christian Bale says

The senator-elect filmed his scene last year for the Netflix thriller, a 19th century murder mystery that also stars Harry Melling and Gillian Anderson

Movies John Fetterman
John Fetterman Cameo Ryan Collerd/SIPA USA

U.S. Senator-elect John Fetterman has a cameo appearance in 'The Pale Blue Eye,' a Netflix film set about an 1830s murder mystery at West Point. The movie stars Christian Bale, Harry Melling and Gillian Anderson.

John Fetterman makes a cameo appearance in "The Pale Blue Eye," an upcoming Netflix movie about a retired New York City detective who is hired to investigate a murder case at West Point in the 1830s. 

Fetterman, who beat Mehmet Oz to win the open U.S. Senate seat in Pennsylvania last month, appears in a scene alongside his wife, Gisele. It was shot last December. 

A photo taken on the set and tweeted out by Fetterman shows the couple alongside actor Christian Bale, who stars as detective Augustus Landor, and director Scott Cooper.  

Much of "The Pale Blue Eye" was shot at Westminster College in Lawrence County in late 2021. Other scenes were filmed at the historic Compass Inn in Laughlintown, Westmoreland County. Fetterman, who has worked with Cooper and Bale in the past, was chosen for one specific reason — his face. 

"John's got this fantastic face, hulking figure," Bale said during a special screening in November. "So I said to Scott, 'We've got to have him in the tavern' ... That's a face that fits the 1830s." 

Fetterman previously helped Cooper scout locations for "Out of the Furnace," a 2013 drama about a Pennsylvania steel mill worker and his Iraq war veteran brother, who becomes entangled in a backwoods criminal gang. The movie, which stars Bale, was filmed in Braddock when Fetterman was mayor. 

The film struggled to connect with audiences. In an effort to help boost it to the shortlist for the Oscars, Fetterman took to Variety to highlight its connections to Braddock and other struggling industrial towns. 

"The poverty, chaos, and insecurity seep in and saturate nearly all facets of life in Braddock," Fetterman wrote. "This is a central narrative of the American experience. Scott Cooper, his extraordinary cast, and Relativity took a huge risk and beautifully captured the unvarnished reality of what happens when a family, a town, and an honorable way of life are allowed to fail." 

"The Pale Blue Eye" will have a short theatrical release beginning Friday, Dec. 23 before arriving on Netflix on Jan. 6. The historical thriller is an adaptation of a 2003 novel by Louis Bayard. When Bale's character has no luck with the murder mystery, he enlists a young Edgar Allen Poe, played by Harry Melling, for assistance. 

The ensemble cast also includes Gillian Anderson, Lucy Boynton, Robert Duvall and Toby Jones. 

Check out the official trailer below.