Home Body Transformation From 'Vice' to 'The Machinist': Here are Five Stunning Christian Bale Body Transformations

From 'Vice' to 'The Machinist': Here are Five Stunning Christian Bale Body Transformations

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On Wednesday, Annapurna dropped the official trailer for Vice, Adam McKay’s highly-anticipated Dick Cheney biopic. 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 recognize him from the trailer. To nail the former Veep’s look, Bale totally transformed: he shaved his head, bleached his eyebrows, and put on 40 lb. of what seems to be pure fat.

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 honor 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, plus where to stream them.


1

'American Psycho' (2000)

Photo: Everett Collection

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.

Where to stream American Psycho


2

'The Machinist' (2004)

christian-bale-the-machinist
Photo: Prime Video

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 60 lbs. “I came up with the absolutely brilliant method of just smoking cigarettes and drinking whiskey to lose weight,” Bale told Star2 about the role.

Where to stream The Machinist


3

'Batman Begins' (2005)

BATMAN BEGINS, Christian Bale, 2005, (c) Warner Brothers/courtesy Everett Collection
Photo: Everett Collection

Just one year after The Machinist, Bale was back to his normal weight — and then some. The actor gained about 100 lbs 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 reports that he was actually too big for the Batsuit when he first arrived on set. After losing a few pounds, Bale fit into the suit, and production officially kicked off.

Where to stream Batman Begins


4

'The Fighter' (2010)

THE FIGHTER, from left: Christian Bale, Mark Wahlberg, 2010. ph: JoJo Whilden/©Paramount Pictures/co
Photo: Everett Collection

To play a drug-addicted former boxer in David O. Russell’s drama, Bale lost 30 lbs 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.

Where to stream The Fighter


5

'American Hustle' (2013)

AMERICAN HUSTLE, Christian Bale, 2013. ph: Francois Duhamel/©Columbia Pictures/courtesy Everett Coll
Photo: Everett Collection

Con men 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 40 lbs of fat? “I ate lots of donuts, a whole lot of cheeseburger, and whtaever I could get my hands on. I literally ate anything that came my way,” said Bale.

Where to stream American Hustle

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