Christian Bale, One of the finest and most brilliant method actors of our generation. This man over the years has shown uncompromised dedication over the years and always gave justice to every single one of his roles. On top of that, most of his movies have explored several versatile themes, ranging from superhero action to dark comedy, politics, etc. Over the years, he has worked on films that have been big blockbusters and continues to work for more films that have a very psychological realist aspect attached to them. But now, since his evolution, he has come a long way in the Hollywood industry. And now, it’s time to talk about the top performances by Christian Bale over his years in Hollywood.
Trevor Reznik in ‘The Machinist’
This is, without any argument, one of the most difficult roles that Bale has had to endure. The character of Trevor was a very peculiar one as he has insomnia, which leads him to suffer from extreme weight loss and malnutrition and have premonitions and flashbacks about some of his horrid memories. Bale was so dedicated to this role as a method actor that he lost more than 60 pounds for this role. Bale reduced himself to a very insane calorie deficit diet. He had two apples, one cup of black coffee, and a can of tuna to complete the minimum requirement every day. Other than that, Bale would never eat for this role. This one movie is one to watch out for.
Patrick Bateman in ‘American Psycho’
Again, another role that stunned audiences and made Christian the star he is today. Patrick Bateman was one of the most psychologically thrilling roles for Bale as he filled in the shoes of a wealthy investment banker but was ignited by a short temper and jealousy, which can lead him to be a serial killer.
Bale was so convincing as the character while doing the role that he adapted to a fitness routine that didn’t look he was preparing for a movie. He even put on his American accent, convincing some people that he is an American guy. Although when the movie was over, he got back to his normal British accent, making people think that he was preparing for his next movie. Patrick Bateman is one of the most iconic Bale characters to hit the screen!
Bruce Wayne/Batman in ‘The Dark Knight’ Trilogy
Now we all knew that the very portrayal of Bruce Wayne was going to be in the books sooner or later since it is one of the most well-known and critically acclaimed Batman roles ever played. After people like Michael Keaton and George Clooney, Christian Bale has been the most iconic Batman to ever take the screen.
Christian aptly brings in the seriousness and severity of the character’s history. Bale again had to indulge himself in intense training. When Nolan first approached him for the role, Nolan was shocked to see Bale as so skinny and pale for the role of Trevor Reznik in The Machinist that he questioned Bale as to how he would convince DC comics of taking him. In time, Bale buffed up his body and learned all the essential fighting scenes of all movies to fill the shoes of the timeless fashioned billionaire and Gotham’s savior.
Dicky Eklund in ‘The Fighter’
The very role for which Bale was awarded the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, this role was unique as Bale takes on the role of a former fighter now influenced by drugs and women, helps his younger brother, Micky Ward, to train and make him the best boxer ever. Dicky was a former boxing champion himself and now wants the family name to rise.
Along with Mark Wahlberg’s, Bale’s role is one to watch out as these two actors team up as on-screen brothers to bring a comic and emotional story to life. It is based on a real-life story.
Ken Miles in ‘Ford V Ferrari’
One of the rather fun-loving roles of Christian Bale, this role is one of the sweetest and lovable characters that Bale has taken on-screen. Although Bale might be a little down-spoken in the movie when filling his shoes, it was nonetheless a masterpiece.
Bale plays Ken Miles, a racer who bases his life on building the fastest car for Ford Motors, and his mastermind friend and major automobile engineer, Carol Shelby. Together, they build a car so fast that they try to win the Le Mans 66, the biggest racing event in the world at the time. The role of Carol Shelby is played by the sweetheart, Matt Damon.
Bale trained a lot for the movie once again as he just previously completed his movie, Vice, in which he played Vice President Dick Cheney. Bale lost 70 pounds for the role of Ken Miles. The only reason Matt Damon accepted this movie is that he wanted to work alongside Christian Bale. When Damon asked Bale how he lost so much weight in just six months, Bale replied by telling him that he didn’t eat. Matt was impressed with his monk-like discipline and tried to take a lot of inspiration from the man!
Dick Cheney in ‘Vice’
Maybe the most controversial role of Christian Bale, this role gave Bale headlines as for the first time, Bale played the role of a real-life political figure who was present during the Bush administration. When Bale was preparing for the role, he decided to practically gain a lot of weight and not use any prosthetics whatsoever as he felt thought would cheat him of that role. As inspiration, he turned to one of the childhood actors that he admired very much, Gary Oldman, and took his advice, as he also performed the role of Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour.
Bale asked Gary how he got himself to get fat for the role, and Oldman said they were all prosthetics, and then Bale thought it would be an injustice to not gain weight and then do the role. And then, the rest is history.
The movie also features Amy Adams as Lynne Cheney as Bale’s on-screen wife. Amy Adams and Christian Bale have worked on several projects together, including The Fighter and American Hustle.
Alfred Borden in ‘The Prestige’
Other than the Dark Knight Trilogy, there have been other times that Christian Bale has teamed up with Christopher Nolan to create some great works of art, and this is one of them. This role is mentioned because Christian’s role of Alfred is so iconic that it is now a fan favorite. Christian fills the shoes of a magician competing with another friendly magician, his accomplice, namely, Robert Angier. Robert’s role is played by none other than the Wolverine himself, Hugh Jackman. Other than these two, the movie also features Scarlett Johansson and Michael Caine in the star roles. This is a movie to put on your list, regardless of what genre may interest you.