Actor Christian Bale can be a pretty sexy dude — admit it, guys, he's handsome. But that's not to say he's afraid of making himself ... to put it gently, less appealing at times. For certain roles (Batman among many) Bale has ridiculously transformed his physique. Whether it's starving himself or bulking up to superhero proportions, Christian Bale will apparently do whatever it takes for the sake of his character. And those Hollywood paychecks probably don't hurt either.
Here are four of Bale's biggest body mods for roles:
1. Trevor Reznik (The Machinist, 2004):
In The Machinist, a psychological thriller directed by Brad Anderson, Christian Bale depicts the emaciated and chronic insomniac Trevor Reznik. Having gone without sleep for a year, Reznik is afflicted with acute paranoia and possible hallucinations, not to mention some major dietary problems. (Ever heard of a protein bar, Reznik?) To get himself looking like a skeleton, Bale allegedly starved himself for over four months. His diet consisted of one cup of black coffee and one apple or can of tunafish per day (that's about 260 calories tops). According to the DVD commentary, Bale lost over 60 pounds for the role, which reduced his body mass to about 120 pounds. Apparently Bale was aiming for around 100 pounds, but the filmmakers didn't want him to hit anorexic teen status, forcing Bale to stop at 120 for health reasons.
2. Bruce Wayne (The Dark Knight Trilogy):
Immediately after losing weight for his role in The Machinist, Christian Bale signed on for Batman Begins — and with only six months to start looking like an epic superhero before they began shooting. This was no easy feat. In an interview with IGN, Bale recalled "... when it came to building muscle, I was useless. I couldn't do one push up the first day. All of the muscles were gone." But after some serious bulking up with the help of a personal trainer, Bale succeeded in gaining 100 pounds in six months, just in time for filming. Transforming from an emaciated insomniac to the biggest badass in a bat suit gives Christian Bale some serious bragging rights. And from the looks of it, those 100 pounds he added on were pure Gotham thug-crushing muscle.
3. Dick "Dicky" Eklund (The Fighter, 2010):
For the role of Boston drug-addict "Dicky," it made sense for Bale to lose some poundage after bulking up for Batman. With his previous unhealthy loss for The Machinist, this came as no challenge to Bale; he lost the weight in no time, and combined with research on Eklund's mannerisms and recorded conversations (to nail that distinct Boston accent), Bale came out of The Fighter with an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
4. Melvin Weinberg (Untitled Project, TBD):
It looks like Gotham's finest have been sharing their donuts. Far from Dicky's strung-out frame or Batman's pure muscle, Christian Bale seems to have transformed himself in a whole different way for his latest role. Photographed on set in Natick, Massachusetts, Bale appears to be a bit plump around the edges these days. Batman's really let himself go! And what's up with the dirty combover? In the as-yet untitled film (directed by David O. Russel, The Fighter) Bale will portray Melvin Weinberg, the conman used to convict several congressmen in the famous FBI Abscam sting operation of the 1970s.