The English actor Christian Bale is well-known around the world for his intensive method of acting and versatility. He has received many acting awards and has been praised by the public and by the critics for his performances. He was listed on Time 100 most influential people list in 2011. Bale has been dubbed “one of the most versatile and talented actors of his generation” by the press. Christian Bale has received 196 award nominations from different award shows, of which he has won 76 awards including two Golden Globe Awards and an Academy (Oscar) Award. His net worth is around $80 million.
Christian Bale (Early Life)
His full name is Christian Charles Philip Bale. He was born in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, on January 30, 1974, to Jenny (née James), a circus artist, and David Bale, a businessman, commercial pilot, and talent manager. His mother is English, and his father was born to English parents in South Africa. “I was born in Wales, but I’m not Welsh—I’m English,” Bale has said. He grew up in Wales, Surrey, and Dorset, England, as well as Portugal. Bale admitted that his career choice was affected by his frequent relocation. He went to Bournemouth School but dropped out when he was 16 years old. Bale cites actor Gary Oldman as “the reason I’m acting” after studying his work.
In 1982, he starred in an advertisement for the fabric softener Lenor. He played a boy rock star in a Pac-Man cereal advert a year later. In 1984, he made his stage debut alongside Rowan Atkinson in London’s West End production of The Nerd. In 1991, Bale’s parents divorced. Bale moved to Los Angeles, California with his father at the age of seventeen, leaving his mother and sister Sharon in Bournemouth.
Bale made his film debut in 1986 as Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich of Russia in the made-for-television film Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna, and went on to star in the miniseries Heart of the Country and the fantasy adventure Mio in the Land of Faraway, alongside Christopher Lee and Nick Pickard. His performance as the young Jim Graham in Empire of the Sun (1987) won him critical acclaim and the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures’ first “Best Performance by a Juvenile Actor” award. Bale was so taken aback by the attention he got from the press and his classmates after this that he considered leaving acting. However, Kenneth Branagh approached Bale and convinced him to star in Henry V in 1989, which he enjoyed.
In Treasure Island, a film adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel, he played Jim Hawkins opposite Charlton Heston in 1990. Bale appeared in the musicals Newsies and Swing Kids, the latter of which was about teenagers who secretly listened to forbidden jazz during Nazi Germany’s rise to power. Bale was cast in director Gillian Armstrong’s 1994 film Little Women after actress Winona Ryder suggested him. In Disney’s Pocahontas, Bale played Thomas, Captain John Smith’s young compatriot (1995).
In Todd Haynes’ glam rock tribute Velvet Goldmine, he played Arthur Stuart. Bale portrayed Demetrius in an updated version of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 1999, alongside Kevin Kline, Michelle Pfeiffer, Stanley Tucci, and Rupert Everett, in an all-star ensemble that included Kevin Kline, Michelle Pfeiffer, Stanley Tucci, and Rupert Everett.
Rise to Prominence
Bale appeared as serial killer Patrick Bateman in director Mary Harron’s adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’ novel of the same name, American Psycho, in 1999. Bale was initially replaced in the project by Leonardo DiCaprio, but DiCaprio ultimately left to star in The Beach. Bale was cast in the role once more. He studied his character by reading the novel, and he trained physically for the role by tanning and exercising for months in order to attain the character’s “Olympian physique” as defined in the original novel. To retain the darker side of Bateman’s character, he maintained his distance from the cast and crew.
To much outcry, American Psycho premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2000. At first, Roger Ebert slammed the film, calling it pornography and “the most despised film at Sundance.” Despite this, he gave it a positive review, saying that director Harron “transformed a novel about bloodlust into a film about men’s vanity.” “Christian Bale is heroic in the way he encourages the character to jump joyfully into despicability; there is no desire for self-preservation here, and that is one characteristic of a good actor,” he wrote of Bale’s performance.
In John Singleton’s Shaft, he played a rich murderer in 2000. After American Psycho, Bale’s first appearance was in John Madden’s adaptation of the best-selling novel Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. Bale portrayed Mandras, a Greek fisherman who fought for Pelagia’s affections with Nicolas Cage’s title character. After All the Little Animals, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin was Bale’s second collaboration with John Hurt. Bale appeared in three feature films between 2002 and 2003, including Laurel Canyon (2002), which received positive reviews. Kate Beckinsale, his co-star in Prince of Jutland (1994), was his co-star in this film for the second time. However, critics lauded star Frances McDormand‘s performance above that of the rest of the cast.
Bale’s first action film was Reign of Fire, a post-apocalyptic action fantasy. In contrast to his previous work, it had a huge budget of $95,000,000. Bale had concerns about taking the lead role in the film when he first met with director Rob Bowman, but he was persuaded to do so. Quinn Abercromby was played by Bale, and Denton Van Zan was played by Matthew McConaughey. They boxed and worked out to prepare for their respective roles in the film. Equilibrium was Bale’s third film of 2002, with a budget of $20 million but a worldwide gross of just over $5 million. Bale portrayed John Preston, an elite law enforcer in a dystopian world, in the film Equilibrium. Gun Kata, a fictional martial art that mixed gunfighting and hand-to-hand combat, was featured in Equilibrium.
Bale returned in 2004 to play Trevor Reznik, the title character in the psychological thriller The Machinist, after taking a year off. Bale rose to prominence as a result of his dedication to the role, going to great lengths to achieve Reznik’s emaciated, skeletal appearance. He went without adequate rest for long periods of time and went on a crash diet consisting mainly of coffee and apples, which resulted in him losing 4 stone 7 pounds (29 kg; 63 lb) in just a few months. Bale lost 8 stone 9 pounds (55 kg; 121 lb) by the end of shooting, a transformation he described as “very relaxing mentally.” Bale said that he had gone months without working before being cast in the film.
The Machinist was a low-budget film that cost about $5 million to make and had a limited release in the United States. It was well-received, with 77 percent of critics’ reviews being positive, according to the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes.
Christian Bale (2004-2015); The Dark Knight Trilogy
Bale was cast in the lead role of Batman and his alter ego Bruce Wayne in Christopher Nolan‘s Batman Begins, a reboot of the Batman film series, in 2004, after finishing filming for The Machinist. Bale was chosen over Jake Gyllenhaal, his closest competitor for the position, despite his relative infamy. Bale had to gain weight and muscle to attain Batman’s muscular physique after losing weight for the previous role. He was given a six-month deadline to complete this mission. Bale remembered how difficult it was to achieve: “When it came to muscle building, I was useless.” On the first day, I couldn’t even do one push-up. I had a difficult time rebuilding all of the muscles because they were all dead.”
Bale reached the deadline with the aid of a personal trainer, gaining a total of 7 stone 2 pounds (45 kg; 100 lb) in six months. He lost 8 st 9 lb (55 kg; 121 lb) and gained 15 st 11 lb (100 kg; 221 lb).
Batman Begins was released in the United States on June 15, 2005, and was a box office success for Warner Bros., costing about $135 million to make and grossing over $370 million worldwide. Bale’s performance was praised by critics and fans alike, winning him the Saturn Award for Best Actor and the MTV Movie Award for Best Hero.
Bale returned to acting in independent films after Batman Begins. In the South Central Los Angeles film, he was cast in one of the two lead roles. Harsh Times is a crime drama directed by David Ayer and starring Freddy Rodriguez and Eva Longoria. Bale depicted Jim Luther Davis, a reclusive Afghanistan War veteran suffering from PTSD who is approached by the Department of Homeland Security and recruited as a federal agent. Harsh Times had a wide release on November 10, 2006, following its premiere at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival.
In 2006, Christian Bale appeared in four films; Rescue Dawn, in which he portrayed a US fighter pilot who has to fight for his life during Vietnam War, The Prestige, in which he plays a magician (directed by Christopher Nolan), I’m Not There, and 3: 10 to Yuma.
In the sequel The Dark Knight, Bale reprised his role as Batman. For the film, he trained in the Keysi Fighting Method. The Dark Knight was released in the United States on July 18, 2008, and it smashed box office records, grossing a record-breaking $158.4 million in its first weekend. It broke the $300 million barriers in ten days, the $400 million barriers in eighteen days, and the $500 million barriers in forty-three days, setting three new US box office records. The film went on to gross more than $1 billion at the box office around the world, making it the fourth highest-grossing film in history before inflation. It’s also one of the most well-received superhero movies of all time.
Bale starred as John Connor in Terminator Salvation in 2009 and as FBI agent Melvin Purvis in Michael Mann’s Public Enemies the following year. In David O. Russell’s 2010 drama film The Warrior, Bale co-starred with Mark Wahlberg. Bale received the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor, the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, and 30 other awards for his portrayal of Dicky Eklund, for which he lost 2 stone 2 pounds (14 kg; 30 lb). Bale complimented Robert De Niro by saying he was “the shit” at the end of his acceptance speech at the 68th Golden Globe Awards ceremony. NBC decided to censor the remark.
Bale was set to star in Zhang Yimou’s historical drama war film The Flowers of War, which was announced in December 2010. Bale and a CNN crew attempted to meet Chen Guangcheng, a blind “barefoot lawyer” under unofficial house arrest for his advocacy against China’s One-Child Policy, while filming The Flowers of War in January 2011. Bale was hit, shoved, and refused entry by hundreds of Chinese security guards who did not recognize him while on tape. Bale went on to say that he wanted to “meet the guy, shake his hand, and tell him what an inspiration he is.” Stones were also hurled at Bale and the CNN team, according to video evidence. For more than 40 minutes, a minivan pursued their vehicle.
Bale reprised his Batman role in The Dark Knight Rises, which was released on July 20, 2012. Bale has the distinction of being the actor who has played Batman on screen for the longest time. He met movie theatre survivors in an Aurora, Colorado hospital after the shooting at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises. The film received even more critical acclaim and financial success, grossing more than $1 billion worldwide. Unadjusted for inflation, the film is currently the 30th highest-grossing film worldwide, and the third highest-grossing film released in 2012. Bale’s film was the most financially profitable of his career.
Bale starred as Russell Baze in Scott Cooper’s thriller Out of the Furnace in 2013. He also starred in American Hustle in the same year, reuniting with producer David O. Russell after their collaboration on The Fighter. For his performance, he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor. Bale went to great lengths to represent con man Irving Rosenfeld in American Hustle. He put on 3 stone 1 pound (20 kg; 43 lb), shaved his head to achieve a practical comb-over, and slouched 3 inches shorter (7.6 cm). A herniated disc occurred as a result of this. He also played Moses in the epic biblical film Exodus: Gods and Kings, directed by Ridley Scott and released on December 12, 2014.
Christian Bale (2015-Present)
Bale appeared in Adam McKay’s biopic The Big Short (2015), based on Michael Lewis’s book of the same name about the 2007–08 financial crisis. Bale portrayed Michael Burry, an Asperger’s syndrome sufferer who goes on to become a neurologist and then a hedge fund manager in the film. Bale wore an ocular prosthesis to help him see. Bale was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his work in the film. Bale starred as an American journalist in the historical drama The Promise (2016), which was set during the Armenian Genocide and featured a love triangle involving a woman, an Armenian medical student, and Bale.
He appeared in period western Hostiles (2017), and biographical comedy-drama Vice (2018). For his role in Vice, he underwent another big physical transformation and earned critical acclaim, as well as a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy and a Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Actor.
In 2009, In James Mangold’s action biographical drama Ford v Ferrari (2019), he played sports car racing driver Ken Miles. In this film, he co-starred with Matt Damon. Ford v Ferrari was nominated for four Academy Awards of which it won two. It was also nominated for three BAFTA awards of which it won one. It was nominated for five Critics’ Choice Awards. It also numerous awards and nominations from many other local and international awards, including a Golden Globe nomination.
Christian Bale (Upcoming Projects)
Bale will play Gorr the God Butcher in Thor: Love and Thunder, a Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero film due to be released in May 2022. He’ll also appear in David O’Russell’s untitled drama and Scott Cooper’s thriller The Pale Blue Eyes, reuniting for the third time with both directors.
Amazing Facts about Christian Bale
- In 1982, he made his acting debut in a commercial for the fabric softener Lenor.
- He appeared in a Pac-Man cereal advert in 1983 as a child rock star.
- Is a great horseman and a voracious reader.
- For the dance sequences in Newsies (1992) and Swing Kids (1993), he practiced for ten weeks in dancing and martial arts.
- David Bale, his father, was a former commercial pilot, and Jenny Bale, his mother, was a circus performer.
- His grandfather was a children’s entertainer and stand-up comedian.
- Many people warned him that acting in “American Psycho” would be career suicide, but that only fueled his desire to do it.
- Sandra Blazic, a former model and make-up artist, is his wife. The couple has two children: Emmaline, a daughter, and Joseph, a son.
- He was one of 4000 people who auditioned for Jim Graham’s part in “Empire of the Sun.” He was cast in the role by Steven Spielberg.
- His sister Louise Bale portrayed Batman’s mother in The Death of Batman (2003) before he played Batman in Batman Begins (2005).
Christian Bale (Best Movies)
|2008||The Dark Knight||Batman, Bruce Wayne|
|2012||The Dark Knight Rises||Batman, Bruce Wayne|
|2019||Ford v Ferrari||Ken Miles|
|2013||American Hustle||Irving Rosenfield|
|2010||The Fighter||Dickie Eklund|
|2005||Batman Begins||Batman, Bruce Wayne|
|2015||The Big Short||Michael Burry|
|2004||The Machinist||Trevor Reznik|
|2000||American Psycho||Patrick Bateman|