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Christian Bale's most famous film roles

Christian Bales has been nominated for a BAFTA for Vice

christian bale
Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
February 10, 2019
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christian vice

Christian Bale claims not to be a method actor, but he certainly puts his all into transforming himself into a variety of different, yet equally iconic, roles! From losing and gaining a drastic amount of weight to learning how to wear some seriously interesting costumes (we can't blame him for being claustrophobic in his Batman get-up), here are the Hollywood star's most famous film roles…

READ: See the full list of BAFTA nominations here!


Christian is almost completely unrecognisable while transformed into Dick Cheney for the Oscar contender, Vice. Chatting to Good Morning America, the actor revealed that his children didn't have any sort of reaction to his role, saying: "My kids don't blink at all! They just look into my eyes… my boy – I was bald with no eyebrows and a big tummy and he just loved jumping up and down in my tummy, he never flinches!"

christian batman© Photo: Rex


Possibly Christian's most famous and iconic role is as Bruce Wayne AKA Batman in the Christopher Nolan directed trilogy. In the series of films, Christian perfectly channels the damaged billionaire turned vigilante who decides to take cleaning up the streets of Gotham into his own hands, and certainly looked the part. Speaking about putting on the suit, he said: "When you first put it on, you feel like you're scuba diving or something, and it feels kind of claustrophobic… I could not wear that suit without making myself feel like some kind of beast. And so I found it just happened really kind of organically and I just went with as much aggression and rage as I could, bordering on appearing like a bad guy when he's got the suit on."

christian machinist© Photo: Rex

The Machinist

This was arguably one of Christian's most transformative roles. Playing a machinist who begins to lose his grip of reality, the actor needed to be extremely thin for the role. As such, Christian dieted for four months before filming, with a former assistant claiming that he would eat one apple and only drink coffee or water. The drastic diet helped him lose 62 pounds for the role, which he then regained in six months while training for Batman.  

christian hustle

American Hustle

That comb over! Christian had a full 1970s makeover while playing Irving Rosenfeld, and gained 43 pounds for the role. Speaking about fattening up to play the conman, Christian told People magazine: "I ate lots of doughnuts, a whole lot of cheeseburgers and whatever I could get my hands on. I literally ate anything that came my way. I was about 185 and went up to 228. I'm still working it off."

christian psycho

American Psycho

Playing a protagonist you most definitely do not root for couldn't have been easy, but Christian nailed his portrayal of the intensely obsessive Wall Street banker and serial killer, Patrick Bateman, in American Psycho. The film's director, Mary Harron, previously revealed that Christian found inspiration for his character on a Tom Cruise interview, telling Black Book magazine that he noticed the Mission Impossible's actor's "intense friendliness with nothing behind the eyes".  

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