Christian Bale is considered by many critics to be one of the greatest actors of his generation. He prides himself on taking a wide variety of roles that have allowed him to play a diverse assortment of characters during his career. At 43 years old, the British actor is not slowing down. He will soon be starring in a film called “Backseat” about the life of former Vice President of the United States Dick Cheney. Steve Carell will be co-starring as the former secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld. Bale made a recent appearance at the Telluride Film Festival and it appeared that he had put on a large amount of weight. He told reporters that the weight gain was specifically for the Dick Cheney role.
Bale has been known to dramatically alter his physical appearance for the roles that he takes. One of the most dramatic examples was for “The Machinist” in 2004. Bale normally walks around at roughly 180 pounds. However, he dropped down to a dangerously low 120 pounds for that role because his character suffered from anorexia. His diet consisted of only one fruit and some fish each day in order for him to drop that amount of weight. Roles in the Batman trilogy of films and “American Hustle” also required a significant weight gain for Bale.
Bale has said that he enjoys changing his appearance in order to truly immerse himself into the characters that he is portraying. He takes his profession very seriously. He believes that an actor should look like the character that he or she is playing. This is especially true if the actor is playing a person from real life. Bale believes that gaining or losing weight for a role helps the audience to forget that they are simply looking at actors on a screen. The movie becomes much more realistic when the actors go out of their way to change the way they look.
Bale also dyed his eyebrows to play Cheney. He joked that dying his eyebrows shows his true commitment to the role because that makes him look more odd than the weight gain. Bale said that he agreed to play the role because Cheney is a very complex person who will be very interesting to play. He went on to say that he needs to play characters that fascinate him in order to stay focused on a film set for three months.