Christian Bale is set to star in a remake of Jason and the Argonauts – as the skeleton army. Nah, just kidding. But, if there is one actor who could pull it off without the use of CGI it is the trash talking Brit.
The extremely dedicated Bale is building up quite a reputation for building down. He’s at it again. Eating an apple a day (and that’s about it) so he can keep the bulk away. But, there is method to his madness.
Bale dropped 28kg (or 62 pounds) to play stick figure insomniac Trevor Reznik to stunning effect in under-appreciated The Machinist in 2004. His weight plummeted from his regular 82kg (180 pounds) – if he has a regular weight these days – down to a staggering 54kg (120 pounds). Probably about the weight he was when he was 14-years-old in Steven Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun (1988).
Bale told IGN back in October 2004 that actually losing the weight himself was essential to playing the part of the sickly-looking Resnik. “With Trevor’s decrease, it was like complete self-destruction of everything, and something which I felt was essential for the part.
“There’s not many parts where the physical aspect is essential, but I felt that it would be the only way that I could truly realize the way that I had imagined Trevor would be. But it’s also nice just because there’s often such an obsession with actors having to look good, and it’s a very fucking dull point of view.”
Six weeks or so after completing filming on the psychological thriller, he had incredibly surged past his original weight on his way to tipping the scales at 100kg (220 pounds) – on a diet of ice-cream, pizzas and other crap – before toning up and slimming down to a muscle-filled 86kg (190 pounds) to play the Caped Crusader for the first time in Batman Begins.
In that same interview with IGN, he said “I managed to put on a certain amount of weight just to convince them for the screen test that I wasn’t a complete shrimp, but when it actually came to building muscle, I was useless. I couldn’t do one push up the first day. All of the muscles were gone, so that was a real tough time of rebuilding all of that. But you have a deadline, you have an obligation. You’ve said that you will commit to this part, and I just can’t live with myself for not really giving it as much as I can.”
Though his weight didn’t quite go to the extremes of The Machinist and Batman Begins, Bale was back treating his body like a yo-yo to portray a tortured, malnourished prisoner of war in Rescue Dawn before beefing back up and jumping into the batsuit again for The Dark Knight.
After remaining filled-out for recent macho movies, Terminator Salvation and Public Enemies, Bale is now back to his bag of bones best. He is currently shooting biopic The Fighter in Boston, in which he portrays a crack boxer turned crack addict turned crack boxing trainer.
Bale plays Dicky Eklund, who was famous in the late 1970s and early 1980s for once knocking down the great Sugar Ray Leonard, but he himself was floored by drug addiction, which eventually led him on a path of destruction and right smack bang into jail.
He managed his younger half-brother Micky Ward (who is being played by former Calvin Klein model Mark Wahlberg) and managed to carve out a reasonably successful union. A welterweight, ‘Irish’ Micky and his never-give-up attitude has been likened to that Rocky Balboa’s.
Though the sort of treatment he puts his body through mustn’t be good from a health perspective, you’ve got to hand it to Bale for his commitment to his craft. Just don’t hand him any cake. Well, not until he’s ready to jump into the Batsuit for Batman 3.