He gained 40 lbs for his role in 'American Hustle' and underwent an enormous physical transformation to play a balding man with a gut.
Bale's first Batsuit was so tight on the recently bulked-up actor that he nearly had a nervous breakdown. After speaking to Nolan, the Batsuit was adjusted - all 110 parts of the costume - to better fit Bale.
Directly following his insane weight loss for "The Machinist," Bale was cast in "Batman Begins" and given six months to not only regain his normal weight, but also add significant muscle to match Batman's fit physique. Incredibly, Bale gained 100 pounds during that time, bringing his weight up to 230 pounds. But he apparently overdid it, because Nolan asked him to lean down to 190 pounds for the iconic role.
After his breakout performance in 'Empire of the Sun' Bale considered stepping away from acting. Although the film generated significant praise for Bale, it also drew much unwanted attention to the young and private actor.
Bale's mother was a circus performer.
Bale was originally cast to play George W. Bush in Oliver Stone's biopic 'W'. He even spent months learning the former president's mannerisms, but ultimately dropped out due to issues with the prosthetics involved.
When Bale was shooting 'Batman Begins' the nameplate on his trailer read Bruce Wayne rather than the actor's real name, the norm in the industry.
In 1984, he made his stage debut opposite Rowan Atkinson in the West End production "The Nerd." Bale was only 10 years old.
He was the first non-American actor to play Batman/Bruce Wayne.
When playing an American character, Bale will give all his press interviews in an American accent in order to not confuse the audience.
Bale's father was a commercial pilot, resulting in the family living in different countries around the world. Bale acknowledges that this constant moving was a major influence on his career choice.
He dropped 63 pounds for his role in The Machinist (2004), a body transformation that caught the eye of 'Batman Begins' director Christopher Nolan. To lose the weight, Bale ate salads and apples, chewed gum, and smoked cigarettes.
At the age of eight, Bale landed his first on-screen role in a commercial for the fabric softener Lenor. A year later, he appeared in a British commercial for Pac-Man cereal.
He was always very ambitious about attending drama school, even auditioning for and getting accepted to several prestigious schools, but his parents encouraged him to continue to work instead. As evidenced by his hefty filmography, Bale decided to keep working, though he still regrets not attending the schools due to his love of the craft.
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