Few actors have the chameleon-like ability – or the inhuman, strange and freakishly-alien discipline – to change their bodies like Christian Bale. The actor has been everything from buff (American Psycho, Reign of Fire, the Dark Knight franchise), comfortable (American Hustle), to emaciated (The Machinist, Rescue Dawn, The Fighter).
Bale doesn't have a set method for getting in shape or for losing weight. He just does what the script (and his nutritionists) demand.
As he said in a 2004 interview with the BBC about losing a worrying amount of weight for The Machinist, “It just didn’t enter my head that it could be done any other way, really. I just realised, “Okay, I have to lose weight.” I just had no idea how much I would have to lose in order to get the look that I was searching for…”
“I had been to a nutritionist and when I had got down to what she had told me was a healthy weight, I just went, “You know what? I can go more than this. I can keep going.” So I lost another 20 pounds below what she said I should stop at…”
Losing all that weight took its toll on Bale. Specifically, his butt.
In fact, his co-star, Michael Ironsides once told MoviePilot about the day he saw the desiccated remains of Christian Bale’s behind.
“I remember on The Machinist, I came to work one day, and we were shooting in Barcelona, Spain, and our trailers were these little Spanish 2-wheeled cabanas that were parked in front of this actual working machine shop. And I heard ‘pssst…Michael!’ from behind one of the cabanas…
And I went over, and it was Chris. And he said, ‘Can you look at this?’ And he turned and dropped his overalls, which he was naked under. And he had lost an INCREDIBLE amount of weight for the character. And he said ‘Michael, there’s something wrong with my ass, can you have a look?’
And the muscles in his ass had literally dropped out of the sockets of his hips. The dignity of the muscles, his ass had literally dropped out of the hips and thigh bones. And I said, ‘Hey Chris, your ass has dropped.’ And he said, ‘What do you mean?’ And I said, ‘You’ve stopped losing body fat, and now you’re actually losing elasticity of muscles’ – I forget the exact medical term for it, but I said, ‘You’ve gone beyond body fat, and now you’re into actual muscle tissue and things are being affected.”
Gaining weight wasn't easy on Bale either.
When he upped his weight for his next movie, Batman Begins, he did so by ignoring the advice of medical professionals, which led to problems.
“In that short amount of time I did actually go from 121 lbs right back up to 180 lbs which is way too fast so that resulted in some doctor visits to get things sorted out.”
Now, Bale has a new transformation, one that has the internet making all sorts of jokes.
Bale has gained a significant amount of weight for his role as Vice President Dick Cheney in the biopic Backseat, which is slated for a 2018 release. Asked how he achieved his distinctive dadbod during the Toronto Film Festival, Bale replied, “I’ve just been eating a lot of pies.”
Haven’t we all…
People on social media are having a field day with Bale's new look.
Here’s a quick sampling of what they’re saying.
Him on Bumble versus him standing outside the bar for your first date pic.twitter.com/RJow1DYYKE
— Alana Massey (@AlanaMassey) November 14, 2017
99% sure Christian Bale is a real life Sim https://t.co/0f4mjT3qyU
— Banta Claus 🎅🏻 (@Ay_itscoakz) November 15, 2017
“I’m not wearing hockey pads.” pic.twitter.com/bAZlW4FAFx
— Lights, Camera, Podcast (@LightsCameraPod) November 14, 2017
Christian Bale is that bloke in the pub that clears the empty glasses even tho he doesn’t work there. pic.twitter.com/JzQf7hhgMV
— Paddy (@padleyr80) November 15, 2017
If this really Christian Bale then every friend I’ve ever had, has a dad with potential https://t.co/CmXnnIMLZx
— Alyssa Murray (@Alyssa27M) November 14, 2017
Christian Bale’s next part is playing ‘man who stands next to bus driver and talks to him while he works’ pic.twitter.com/1MTInS1NBc
— Glenn Kitson (@Glenn_Kitson) November 14, 2017
Christian Bale out here looking like a large shy baby pic.twitter.com/vJosknmYtK
— Brett Quinn (@BrettQuinnPhD) November 14, 2017
I will NOT be making a statement about how much I look like fat Christian Bale. Please respect my privacy.
— Alex Murphy 🌙🏊🏻 (@alexmurphypr) November 14, 2017
I wonder how much Christian Bale has spent on different sized pants.
— Daze Gaze 6 (@daze_gaze) November 15, 2017
Soon, I can tell people I’m built like Christian Bale. https://t.co/U7e54boFmC
— Jay Zawaski (@JayZawaski670) November 14, 2017