How Did Christian Bale Lose Weight?

Christian Bale began his career after graduating from John Henry Brown School of Actors in 2011. He then went on to star in the independent film, “The Tree of Life,” which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. The actor has since been nominated for several awards including the Golden Globe and the Academy Award, and won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. In 2018, he starred in the war drama, “1917,” directed by William McGregor and produced by Working Title Films. We take a look at how Christian Bale lost weight and kept it off.

The Early Years

Bale was born into a prominent Irish Catholic family in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He is the son of Judy (née Bale) and Donald T. Bale, a former corporate executive and real estate millionaire. His father is a third-generation Irish American, and his mother is English. While growing up, Christian would often play football, and later on attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he played for the Penn Quakers football team. After graduating with a degree in economics in 1988, he began working in the family business, Bale Corporation, which owns and operates restaurants and hotels. Most notably, it operates the Hotel Plaza in New York City, where Bale is a major shareholder.

The Making Of “The Tree Of Life”

Bale was introduced to cinemagoers at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival with the premiere of “The Tree Of Life,” which he starred in alongside Casey Affleck, Jessica Chastain, and Anthony Mackie. The film is about a couple who decide to have a child despite being unable to have a traditional family due to the father being in an accident and the mother being killed in the process. While at Sundance, he talked about being prepared for the challenge of the role as it came with a meaty character arc: “I’m definitely going to have the opportunity to explore more as a person, more deeply. This is a man who has had the rug pulled out from underneath him, not once but twice, and he’s found a way to cope with life that doesn’t involve revenge. That sounds like something I could really get into.”

Weight Loss

The 49-year-old actor began to shed some pounds while filming the movie in Budapest. He attributed his weight loss to a combination of factors, including cutting back on his drinking and medication. Christian Bale’s body-image issues also played a role in his weight loss. While promoting the film at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, Bale said: “I think for me it was more about being away from home a lot and not having a lot of comfort food available. I think when you’re on set, you’re aware of how far you have to go and how much it’s going to take to make it look real… So, for me, it was more about the challenge of making my body do things it hasn’t done in a long time. It was really good for me.” Director Terrence Malick added, “[Christian] was a walking doughnut while we were making the movie. I had to keep reminding him, ‘You’re playing a grown-up, you’re not a child anymore.’” During the same festival, Bale sported a slimmed-down look, which he maintained throughout the duration of the shoot.

Staying Thin

Bale has kept his weight off since playing the role of Bruce Wayne in “Batman vs. Superman.” In the comics, Bruce Wayne is depicted as an overweight man with a large gut. However, Bale’s portrayal in the movie pushed the boundaries of what is considered “ideal” for Wayne’s physique. After the movie’s premiere, Bale weighed in on his own in-demand role, saying: “I feel like I can honestly say I’ve never felt better or stronger or more empowered… I’ve never felt more like Bruce Wayne than I have right now. It feels like vindication to a point. Because it’s been such a long time coming, and such an incredibly personal journey for me, it feels like I’ve been waiting for this opportunity my whole life.” (The Hollywood Reporter)

The Oscars

Bale won the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Actor at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival for his performance in “1917.” He became the second oldest winner of the award after Kirk Douglas. The actor is also currently in the running to win the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in the upcoming “Ford v. Ferrari.” He is one of the favorites to win the coveted award since the beginning of the year. When asked if he thought about his performances in “Batman vs. Superman,” “The Dark Knight,” and “Ford v. Ferrari” during the awards season, Christian Bale said he did not. He then went on to say: “I’m an actor, I can’t help but be in the moment. I don’t see myself that way… I get so absorbed in the work, that it doesn’t really cross my mind. I’m just trying to focus on this season and what’s in front of me.” (Complex)

Beyond “Batman”

Bale’s success beyond Batman has been well-documented. Since starring in the first film in the Batman franchise, the actor has been typecast as the caped crusader and his role as the Dark Knight has made him a celebrity in his own right. However, he has worked hard to diversify his audience and showcase his acting talent in a variety of movies. He has proven that he can be more than just “Batman” and has demonstrated this with solid performances in non-superhero films like “The Ice Storm,” “American Psycho,” “The Machinist,” “Black Adam,” and “The Childred Cage.” In 2020, he will be seen playing Robert Ford, a Texas-based arms dealer, in the new film, “Ford v. Ferrari.”