6 Drastic Ways Christian Bale Changed His Look For A Role
Heís an Oscar winner. Heís the ideal blend of character-actor chops and marquee-boosting star power. Heís The God Damn Batman. But it wasnít until we watched him back-to-back in Scott Cooperís Out of the Furnace and David O. Russellís American Hustle that we recognized what a chameleon Christian Bale can be in the name of his art.
During a recent press conference held on behalf of Hustle, Russell told a fantastic story about how co-stars like Robert De Niro, whoíd never met Bale in person, didnít recognize the actor in character as overweight, follicly-challenged con artist Irving Rosenfeld. And Raging Bull star De Niro knows a thing or two about drastic physical transformations, when itís right for the part.
We got to thinking about the roles that required Bale to alter his appearance. Sometimes itís a hairstyle. Sometimes itís a lack of hygiene. Often it has to do with his body build, either bulking up to fight crime, or slimming down to deal with the consequences of his action. Here, then, are the many faces of Christian Bale. Which parts stands out as your favorite?
1. He Drops a Ton of Weight for The Machinist
The Part: Trevor Reznik is the machinist of the title, a gaunt insomniac who is wasting away. Thereís a reason, and once you learn it, it may haunt you, as well.
The Transformation: Easily Baleís most drastic physical change, the actor dropped what looked like half of his body weight to play this guilt-ridden character in Brad Andersonís 2004 psychological thriller. After fighting dragons in Reign of Fire and trying to establish his career with various arthouse projects, Bale convinced the industry of his dedication with The Machinist, and caught the eye of one Christopher Nolan, who would transform Bale for another role youíll find later on this list.
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