There are few working actors who have the talent and endurance of Christian Bale. He has already embodied some of the most iconic roles of the new century, in huge blockbusters and indie projects alike. He starred in the most popular Batman trilogy of all time, and he’s also an Oscar winner. On top of all that, he’s routinely named among the sexiest men alive.
Bale doesn’t get where he is on dumb luck, though. He works hard. Dangerously hard. Unafraid to put everything on the line for a role, Christian Bale pushes his body to the limit in order to create the most realistic possible screen performance. His intensity literally burns through the screen and we sometimes genuinely worry he will kill himself for a role. With weight loss and weight gains, dangerous conditions and obsessive behavior Bale makes a case for acting as an extreme sport.
Bale has been acting since he was a child, so there is really no shortage of bizarre and awesome behind the scenes stories of his most extreme transformations. What is especially surprising is that more often than not, Bale starts to go into hyper-drive to prepare for roles that he hasn’t even secured yet, meaning that there are many times where he prepares months for a role he doesn’t even get! And for this infamously short-tempered actor, you really don’t want to be the one who took his part away - let’s just say, he’s been known to make phone calls masked as threats to other actors who’ve been cast in roles he’s wanted.
12 Studied to be George W. Bush
11 Kept a Scrapbook to play Bob Dylan
10 Trained with the Keysi Fighting Method
9 Gained 43 Lbs for American Hustle
8 Shaved his head so he could have comb-over
7 Made himself seem shorter by slouching
6 Worked out religiously for "Olympian Physique"
5 Survived a jungle in Thailand
4 Gained 100 Lbs in six weeks to play Batman
3 He got other actors to turn down a role
2 Hung off the side of the Sears Tower
1 He lost over sixty lbs for The Machinist
Subsiding on a diet of apples and cigarettes, Christian Bale lost 63 pounds in order to play the insomniac industrial worker who starts to lose grip on reality. Not having any other films in the work at the time, Bale devoted all his time to this project because he loved the script so much. Pushing his body to the very limits, he not only lost an absurd amount of weight in a short period of time, he tried to sleep as little as possible and was well below his target weight by the end. Since the release of the film, Bale now says he might have gone too far for this role, as he seriously put his health on the line!
Source: Moviefone, huffingtonpost.com, thesun.co.uk, newyorker.com, gq-magazine
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