Christian Bale has left former Vice President Dick Cheney behind.
The Oscar-winning actor, 44, is known for whipping his body into (or out of) shape to fit his wildly varying roles. He lost 40 pounds, reportedly in part by eating only an apple and a can of tuna a day, to play an emaciated insomniac in 2004’s The Machinist. Serious workouts helped him get buff for his turns as Batman. Then, for The Fighter in 2010, Bale became rail-thin, before packing on the pounds to play an out-of-shape con man in American Hustle.
“I ate lots of doughnuts, a whole lot of cheeseburgers, and whatever I could get my hands on,” Bale told People of his American Hustle role in December 2013. “I literally ate anything that came my way.”
Over the years, Bale has acknowledged that transforming his physique isn’t as easy as it was when he was younger.
“I thought I was going to lose the weight I gained for American Hustle. I said, two months, flat, that’ll do it,” Bale told USA Today while promoting the movie. “I was 185, and I went up to 228 for it. And I’m still working that off! It’s almost six months later. Now, I know that when I was in my early 20s, it would have been two months and that’s it.”
Bale reportedly dropped out of a biopic about legendary carmaker Enzo Ferrari in January 2016, because he couldn’t gain the weight necessary to play Ferrari in time for shooting to start.
While he agreed to gain weight again to play Cheney, he went about changing his body differently than he had in the past.
“It was the first time in my life that I realized I had to do this in a smart way. I’ve lost weight, I’ve gained weight, [but] I never went to a nutritionist in my life,” Bale said on CBS This Morning. “It was the first time that I said, ‘You know what? I better really do this the right way.’”
Bale chalked it up to age.
“In the past for losing weight I went, ‘Ah, I’ll just smoke and drink whiskey and eat everything,’ and it worked! But I’m in my mid-40s now and I just thought, ‘Probably just eating cream puffs nonstop is not gonna be so good for my ticker.’”
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