Few actors throw themselves into a role quite like Christian Bale. A master chameleon, the Oscar winner completely inhabits every character he portrays, using wigs, weight loss and gain and sometimes weird accents to lose himself in a role and deliver performances that stay with the viewer long after the credits have rolled. And for every Bruce Wayne, there’s an Irving Rosenfeld, ie. sometimes he’s super-hot and other times…less.
Bale is a master at his craft, transforming his physical self for each role so much so that we often forget what the English actor actually looks and sounds like. Following his Golden Globe win earlier this year and subsequent acceptance speech for Vice, one of the biggest trends on social media was people realizing they didn’t know what Christian Bale’s voice sounded like. That’s a good actor.
Let’s look back at the many transformations Christian Bale.
The many surprising looks of human chameleon Christian Bale
NEWSIES (1992)Shout out to 18-year-old Christian Bale for being the cutest boy we had ever seen on the big screen in 1992’s Newsies.Walt Disney Pictures
ROYAL DECEIT (1994)Christian Bale’s long locks in Royal Deceit is so early '90s that just looking at this picture makes us want to strap on a pair of Doc Martens and binge My So-Called Life.Woodline Films Ltd.
VELVET GOLDMINE (1998)Okay, so Bale didn’t actually have to change his look too drastically to play '80s music journalist Arthur Stuart in 1998’s Velvet Goldmine, but whatever he did made him look like Ryan Gosling. Maybe it’s the scarf. Or the chiseled cheekbones. Could be those, too.Goldwyn Films
MARY, MOTHER OF JESUS (1999)Forgive us father, for we have sinned. We’ve had inappropriate thoughts about Jesus of Nazareth. The crown of thorns is, well, kind of hot, right?Hallmark Entertainment
AMERICAN PSYCHO (2000)Christian Bale in American Psycho is how Donald Trump think he looks.Lions Gate Films
THE MACHINIST (2004)We’ll never not be haunted by seeing Christian Bale in The Machinist. The actor dropped down to 112 pounds for the role, where he plays a man riddled by guilt who begins suffering from insomnia. Bale said his approach to losing the weight was simple. He stopped eating. So, like Keto, but with no food.Filmax Group
BATMAN BEGINS (2005)After filming The Machinist, Bale put on 100 pounds to play Bruce Wayne, then dropped another 30 before filming began after director Christopher Nolan thought he had gained too much weight. Acting sounds awful.Warner Bros.
RESCUE DAWN (2006)Bale plays a fighter pilot who is captured and held as a POW in Vietnam in Rescue Dawn, which is a long-winded way of saying he had to lose weight. Again.MGM
THE FIGHTER (2010)Bale once again dropped some serious weight for his role as Dicky Eklund in The Fighter, slimming down an extra 30 pounds. Playing a drug addict required Bale to again take on an emaciated look, but this time with a Boston-Irish accent.Mandeville Films
AMERICAN HUSTLE (2013)Another role, another diet, this time with Bale gaining 43 pounds to play con man Irving Rosenfeld. Never underestimate how quickly a comb-over can turn one of Hollywood’s most handsome leading men into a creepy dude you wouldn’t want to share an elevator ride with. Bale adapted a slouch for the film, which dropped him three inches and produced a herniated disc. But he won an Oscar, so you know, not a total loss.Columbia Pictures
OUT OF THE FURNACE (2013)Long haired, goateed Christian Bale is definitely one of our favourite Christian Bales. Top three for sure.Red Granite Pictures
THE BIG SHORT (2015)Bale’s turn as an eccentric hedge fund manager with a cheap haircut makes him look like an average middle American man, which in turn makes him almost unrecognizable.Paramount Pictures
THE PROMISE (2016)Anyone who doesn’t think a goatee can totally change a person’s appearance should watch Christian Bale star as an American photographer in 2016’s The Promise.Survival Pictures
DICK CHENY, VICE (2018)We know that’s Christian Bale. He’s been nominated for an Oscar for playing the former Vice President. We get it. That’s him. But, it’s not, right? Like, it can’t be. Can it?Plan B Entertainment
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