Christian Bale made an astounding transformation to play Dick Cheney in Vice, a role which earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. Bale is almost unrecognizable in the film but this isn’t the first time that he’s made huge changes to his body for a role. Here are are some of his previous movie transformations.
American Psycho (2000)
As Vanity Fair notes, for American Psycho, Bale had to bulk up to play banker turned murderer Patrick Bateman. Bale looked absolutely ripped in the film and easily conveyed the neurotic pride that the character had in his physical body. Mental Floss reports that Johnny Depp was originally suggested for the role but today it’s hard to imagine anyone other than Bale doing it.
The Machinist (2005)
While American Psycho saw him add muscle to his frame, The Machinist forced him to lose a drastic amount of weight. Men’s Health reports that to prepare for this role, his diet consisted of an apple, water and coffee every day. According to IMDB, He eventually dropped to about 110 pounds to play a man whose life is ruined by chronic insomnia. The actor reportedly wanted to lose an additional 10 pounds but the producers forbade him from doing so, fearing for his health.
American Hustle (2014)
This might have been the most enjoyable transformation for the actor. To play the film’s lead con-man, Irving Rosenfield, Bale had to get fat which meant eating a lot of junk food.
“I ate lots of doughnuts, a whole lot of cheeseburgers and whatever I could get my hands on,” he said in one interview, as reported by Men’s Health. “I literally ate anything that came my way.”
Batman Begins (2005)
Men’s Health reports that Bale had just 6 months to become Gotham’s caped crusader. He had previously become dangerously emaciated for The Machinist so this meant another complete physical transformation. Bale worked with a personal trainer who helped him beef up his frame and there was lots of weightlifting and binge eating involved. Bale’s tendency to take things to extremes made things more difficult, though, as he reportedly became too big for his Batman costume.
Whether Christian Bale wins the Academy Award for Best Actor remains to be seen. But, according to Gold Derby, his chances look good. They have him pegged as the actor who’ll take home the trophy in that category, ousting their previous pick, Bradley Cooper. Bale has previously won a Golden Globe for the role and nabbed a Critic’s Choice Award as well.
Oscar night has been known to deliver surprise wins, so we’ll just have to wait and see.