A Welsh-born actor (raised mainly in Southern England), Christian Bale is a former child star turned very versatile leading man, with a reputation for taking any role that challenged him. He's also known for being willing to radically transform his body for a role; he lost 63 pounds for The Machinist, immediately gained it back and then some (100) to play everyone's favorite masked vigilante in Batman Begins, then went skeletal again to star in Rescue Dawn, then gained it back for The Dark Knight, then went skeletal again to star in The Fighter. And now they're working on a third Batman film. Undoubtably, Bale is the most physically chameleonic actor since Lon Chaney.
Bale's most famous role prior to the Batman films was his performance as Patrick Bateman in the film adaptation of American Psycho.
Although he likes to keep details of his personal life away from the public eye, he's not immune to some controversy. In 2008 he was charged for (verbal) assault on his mother and sister, but he denied the allegations and the charges were dropped on the grounds of lack of evidence.
On February 2009, an audio recording of Bale's lengthy tirade on the set of Terminator Salvation, in which he verbally assaulted Director of Photography Shane Hurlburt for wandering about during the shooting of a pivotal scene one time too many, was leaked online. Following the leak, Bale issued a public apology, saying that his actions were "inexcusable" and that he "acted like a punk"; prior to the leak, Bale and Hurlburt talked out their problems almost immediately after the rant.
- Jim Graham, Empire of the Sun, (1987)
- Jum Jum, Mio in the Land of Faraway, (1987)
- Boy, Henry V, (1989)
- Jim Hawkins, Treasure Island, (1990)
- Jack Kelly, Newsies, (1992, though apparently he'd rather forget about it...)
- Thomas Berger Swing Kids, (1993)
- Thomas, Pocahontas, (1995)
- Arthur Stuart, Velvet Goldmine (1998)
- Jesus, Mary Mother of Jesus (1999)
- Patrick Bateman, American Psycho (2000)
- Quinn, Reign of Fire (2002)
- John Preston, Equilibrium (2002)
- Howl, Howl's Moving Castle (2004, English Dub)
- Trevor Reznik, The Machinist (2004)
- John Rolfe, The New World (the 2nd film about Pocahontas he's appeared in!)
- Bruce Wayne/Batman, Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008)
- Also voiced the character(s) for the Batman Begins video game adaptation.
- Alfred Borden, The Prestige (2006)
- Jim Luther Davis, Harsh Times (2006)
- Dieter Dengler, Rescue Dawn (2007)
- Jack Rollins/Pastor John, I'm Not There (2007)
- Dan Evans, Three Ten to Yuma (2007)
- John Connor, Terminator Salvation (2009)
- Melvin Purvis, Public Enemies (2009)
- Dick Eklund, The Fighter (2010) (For which he won an Academy Award)
(Yes, yes he did, in fact, play both Jesus and Batman).
Tropes invoked by this actor:
- Academy Award: For The Fighter
- Badass Beard: Sports one between Acting gigs
- Badass Long Hair: When he's not working, he sports an impressive mane of hair.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Ignoring his rant, he does have a bit of a potty mouth in interviews.
- Dyeing for Your Art: Well, more like gaining and dropping tons of weight for your art, anyway.
- Elites Are More Glamorous: Bale wanted to attend the US Army's Ranger School for his role in Harsh Times, but couldnt fit the 2 month program into the month that he was given to prepare. He also worked with several Special Ops types for his role in Terminator Salvation.
- Mr. Fanservice
- Fake American: Bale usually puts on an American accent if the role calls for it and keeps it while filming and advertising. This is present for both his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, and with a midwestern accent in Public Enemies. He didn't drop it during the infamous rant, but towards the end he has a few Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping moments.
- Former Child Star: Averted, as he is even more successful now than as a child actor.
- Frozen Face: Bale is capable of unusually intense stares and untwitching facial expressions, which sometimes leads to accusations of Dull Surprise. However, this made his role in Equilibrium all the more awesome.
- He's All Grown Up: Whoa!!
- Large Ham: He really chews the scenery in a few roles... including Batman and John Connor!
- Not to mention his infamous rant.
- Old Shame: Newsies.
- One of Us: See the page for examples.
- Rant-Inducing Slight: And thanks to the Internet he might Never Live It Down.
- Sarcasm Mode: "Oh, good for yoooou!"
- Shirtless Scene: In Batman Begins and Equilibrium (Yay!), American Psycho (Double Yay!), and The Machinist (Gah!).