Nothing Would Make Christian Bale Happier Than Retiring From Acting. Why He's Never 'Seriously' Tried To Quit

Christian Bale has been in the entertainment industry ever since he starred in a Lenor fabric softener commercial when he was 8 years old. He's been busy ever since, this year along he has three new movies coming out. He played a villain in Thor: Love and Thunder, he teamed up with David O. Russell for the third time in Amsterdam, which comes out this week, and he is starring with Gillian Anderson in The Pale Blue Eye later this year. While working so hard for so many years has made him think about retiring from acting, he’s got a good reason for never “seriously” trying to quit.

After being in the entertainment industry for 40 years, you’ve got to wonder if there was ever a time Christian Bale wanted to put the brakes on his career. The 48-year-old actor mentioned to GQ how happy he would be if he could just retire now, explaining he'd be "more than content" about the prospect.

More than content: fucking ecstatic. I’ve always been bent on ‘When’s this gonna end? This has to end.’ I like doing things that have nothing to do with film. And I find myself very happily not playing dress-up, not pretending to be somebody else for long lengths of time.

Throughout his career, Christian Bale has never been an actor to just simply memorize his lines and play simpleton characters. His A-list career was launched with Steven Spielberg’s 1987 classic Empire of the Sun, and he gained wider recognition by shocking audiences with American Psycho. He drastically changed his appearance for The Machinist, and starred in one of the highest-grossing film franchises, Batman. He’s told the magazine that what he loves about acting is going above the limits of playing a role and the “insanity of the job itself.” 

However, considering Bale has been acting since he was a child. It has always been a part of his life and not something that he’s “seriously” considered leaving behind, even when he's tried on the idea before.

What does ‘seriously’ mean? I had a couple of moments where I was like, ‘I never went to college. I have no education. I want to do that.’ But it was short-lived. I do try occasionally and then, like, “Oh, come on.” This…I do…

According to The Guardian, the fame he received from Empire of the Sun led to him getting bullied when he was in school, and he found the pressures that come with acting very challenging. But, he told GQ he felt obligated to continue acting to support his family and health reasons. 

And I’ll just nod. But, yeah. Look, me and a couple of friends, we were kinda doing these little skits. But every kid does. Every kid acts a little bit in that way. And then, just, I found myself in the position that family things…finding I can support the family through doing it: That’s why I’m doing it. And I do have an absolute love/hate relationship with it. And I think that is quite a healthy thing.

Hopefully, the English actor continues with his acting career, because I think there are few actors who bring dedication to their roles as he does. But like Bale told GQ, he has to want to do it for himself, and no one else. You can see him play a glass-eyed doctor in the 2022 movie release of Amsterdam in theaters now as well as the 2023 movie release of Netflix's The Pale Blue Eye on January 6.

Carly Levy
Entertainment Writer

Just your average South Floridian cinephile who believes the pen is mightier than the sword.