Christian Bale puts his body through a lot for the love of acting.
Christian Bale puts his body through a lot for the love of acting.

Star’s shocking 45kg weight fluctuations

THE official trailer for highly-anticipated Dick Cheney biopic, Vice, has been released today.

The film follows Cheney's decades-long career and his lofty political ambitions, the combined forces of which forever altered the nation's political landscape. Christian Bale takes on the lead role in Vice, but you'd never recognise him from the trailer. To nail the former Veep's look, Bale totally transformed: he shaved his head, bleached his eyebrows, and put on 9kgs of what seems to be pure fat.

Christian Bale as Dick Cheney in 'Vice'. Picture: Greig Fraser/Annapurna Pictures
Christian Bale as Dick Cheney in 'Vice'. Picture: Greig Fraser/Annapurna Pictures

Bale's full-body transformation for Vice is impressive, but it's not the first time he has drastically changed his appearance for a role. The actor is pretty much the king of putting his all into a role, whether that means building lean muscle or eating cheesecake non-stop to put on a few (dozen) pounds. In the past, Bale has transformed his body to play an insomniac machinist, a former boxer, a con artist, and more, and each time, viewers have to do a double take to make the man on screen is, in fact, Christian Bale.

In honour of Bale's latest heavy-duty role, let's take a look back at some of his most drastic makeovers. Here are five of Christian Bale's most jaw-dropping body transformations:

 

1. American Psycho (2000)

A murderous muscle man in American Pyscho.
A murderous muscle man in American Pyscho.

Bale was a lean, mean, murdering machine in American Psycho. Patrick Bateman's obsession with his appearance is a key part of his character, so it was crucial that Bale's body look the part. To get into character, Bale shredded all the fat on his body. Years later, his lean look has inspired thousands of workout and diet routines.

 

2. The Machinist (2004)

 

A drastic change.
A drastic change.

 

He lost almost 30kgs.
He lost almost 30kgs.

 

On the flip side, Bale's look in The Machinist inspired no copycats. To play a guilt-wracked insomniac, Bale stripped himself of muscle and dropped a staggering 28kgs. "I came up with the absolutely brilliant method of just smoking cigarettes and drinking whiskey to lose weight," Bale told Star2 about the role.

 

3. Batman Begins (2005)

 

Back to beefcake for Batman.
Back to beefcake for Batman.

Just one year after The Machinist, Bale was back to his normal weight - and then some. The actor gained about 45kgs to play Batman in the rebooted franchise, and he did so by binge-eating and lifting weights. But it turns out that actor must have eaten a few too many cakes, because Men's Health UK reported that he was actually too big for the Batsuit when he first arrived on set. After losing a few kilos, Bale fit into the suit, and production officially kicked off.

 

4. The Fighter (2010)

 

Skinny again (don’t try this at home, folks).
Skinny again (don’t try this at home, folks).

To play a drug-addicted former boxer in David O. Russell's drama, Bale lost 13kgs of muscle. That may sound like a lot, but Bale was very careful not to push his weight loss too far, as he wouldn't be able to effectively train for his character's fight scenes if he got too skinny.

 

5. American Hustle (2013)

Letting it all hang out in American Hustle.
Letting it all hang out in American Hustle.

Conmen don't usually have Batman-style bodies, so Bale gained a lot of weight to play American Hustle's Irving Rosenfeld. How did he gain over 9kgs of fat? "I ate lots of doughnuts, a whole lot of cheeseburger, and whatever I could get my hands on. I literally ate anything that came my way," said Bale.

 

This story originally appeared on Decider and is republished here with permission.

 

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Bale as a younger Cheney. Picture: Greig Fraser/Annapurna Pictures
Bale as a younger Cheney. Picture: Greig Fraser/Annapurna Pictures


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