Over the course of his four-decade career, Christian Bale has made transforming his body for movie roles into a work of art. Whether it’s gaining muscle to play the iconic superhero Batman, or beefing up to play Vice President Dick Cheney, like he did for 2018’s Vice, there’s nothing Bale won’t try to get more into character.
Bale has been working as a professional actor since he was a teenager, and over that time he has proven to be the ultimate chameleon, playing all different types of characters in a whole range of genres for award-winning directors like Steven Spielberg, Christopher Nolan, Terrence Malick, Ridley Scott, David O. Russell, and James Mangold.
One of Bale’s best and most extreme transformations happened on his 2018 movie Vice, which he collaborated on with Oscar-winning writer-director Adam McKay. To play Cheney, Bale added a lot of weight to his frame, shaved his head, and dyed his eyebrows to get an accurate look of the former vice president. The film also stars Amy Adams as Lynne Cheney, Steve Carell as Donald Rumsfeld, Sam Rockwell as George W. Bush, Alison Pill as Mary Cheney, and Bill Camp as Gerald Ford.
Here’s a quick look at what Bale did to prepare for his Vice role:
But transforming his physical appearance isn’t always easy, and Bale has spoken about the toll it’s taken on his body.
“I did actually start to feel I was putting my body under too much pressure because I put on 100 pounds in five months,” Bale said to IGN in an interview about his training to get in shape for Batman.”
Here are the most intense, most extreme Christian Bale body transformations from his career.