Christian Bale is a great actor, and he’s also the type of actor who likes to go above and beyond for his roles. Over his career, Bale has lost and gained drastic amounts of weight, be it to play a rail-thin insomniac in The Machinist or a portly Dick Cheney in Vice. But according to Bale himself, his days of dramatic weight loss and gain for movie parts are over.
In this year’s Ford v Ferrari, Christian Bale gives a wonderful performance – and, most refreshing of all, it’s a performance I’d call “gimmick-free.” I don’t mean to disparage Bale – I genuinely think he’s one of our best actors. But I also think that his tendency to shift his weight so violently for roles can sometimes take things a step too far. Part of the fun of his Ford work is that it has the actor having fun and playing his character without too much physical transformation. Although the actor technically did have to drop his Vice weight gain for the part.
But as Bale tells it, he’s probably done with this whole weight loss/gain thing. Maybe. “I keep saying I’m done with it,” Bale said during a CBS Sunday Morning interview (via IndieWire). “I really think I’m done with it, yeah.” Of course, as Bale notes, he’s said this before. But maybe he means it this time? Or maybe he’ll change his mind in a year and we’ll see him put on 70 pounds to play Luciano Pavarotti.
Bale made a claim about being done with weight loss/gain back in January. “I can’t keep doing it,” he told The Sunday Times. “I really can’t. My mortality is staring me in the face.”
Over his career, Bale has lost weight for roles like The Machinist and The Boxer, packed on muscle for the Dark Knight Trilogy, got chubby for American Hustle, and put on 50 pounds for Vice (which he achieved by eating lots of pies). “I had never before gone to a doctor or a nutritionist about gaining or losing weight,” Bale said previously. “But eventually that caught up with me. When I did The Machinist, I came up with the absolutely brilliant method of just smoking cigarettes and drinking whiskey to lose weight.” (Note: you probably shouldn’t try this method yourself.)
Ford v Ferrari opens November 15.
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