After wowing audiences with his turn as a portly and balding Dick Cheney in the acclaimed new film Vice, Christian Bale has confessed that he’s calling time on his extreme yo-yo dieting before it kills him.
Bale’s diverse choices in acting roles have seen him play an anorexic neurotic, a chiseled and fighting fit superhero, and a past-his-prime Vice President who exudes decadence, among others. Bale likes to live and breathe the character he plays, even if it means dramatically changing his weight and muscle tone to fit the bill.
Bale has long been renowned as an actor who believes in suffering for his art. In his recent portrayal of Cheney, the 44-year-old piled on the weight and ballooned by an extra 46 pounds.
Bale won a Golden Globe for his convincing turn, but his days of his extreme transformations are at an end because as the actor told Sunday Times’ Culture magazine, “I can’t keep doing it. I really can’t. My mortality is staring me in the face.”
Back in 2005 Bale lost a life-threatening 62 pounds for his role of Trevor Reznik in The Machinist. Reznik was a complex individual and anorexic who suffered from insomnia and psychological problems. To do the part justice, Bale’s daily diet consisted of one apple a day, one cup of coffee, and nothing else but water and the occasional whiskey.
Speaking to the Guardian in the wake of the film Bale said, “It’s an amazing experience doing that. When you’re so skinny that you can hardly walk up a flight of stairs … you’re, like, this being of pure thought. It’s like you’ve abandoned your body.”
If that wasn’t impressive enough, Bale’s next role as Bruce Wayne/Batman in the Dark Knight trilogy saw the actor work out and eat until he looked like a Greek god.
To achieve Cheney’s look, Bale endured a strict dietary regime to give him the look and presence of the politician.
However, Bale revealed that when Gary Oldman informed him he hadn’t gained any weight for his Oscar-winning portrayal of Winston Churchill in the biopic The Darkest Hour he felt like a “t*t” for being so obsessive about gaining weight to play Cheney.
“By this time I’m 20lb in. I said, ‘Wait – none?’ I felt like such a t*t, but I thought: ‘I’m on this road; I’m going to keep going’.”
In the same interview, the yo-yo dieter added that his extreme methods were not fair on his wife, model Sibi Blazic, who has had to endure his epic transformations throughout his career.
However, Bale’s son was said to be a big fan of the actor’s Cheney look, with it all having to do with his dad being soft around the middle.
Bale explained, “My son loved the tummy. He would just bounce up and down on that a lot and head butt it and bounce off it and fall to the floor.”