When it comes to his craftsmanship as an actor, Christian Bale is one of the most admired and successful men in Hollywood. Known for his intense acting method, Bale has managed to play both the bad and good guy with equal aplomb. While most actors settle for one or two classic characters throughout their acting career, the versatile Welshman continued to develop and grow as an actor; appearing in a variety of films and earning numerous awards along the way.
Bale rose to fame after portraying real-life murderer BTK in the award-winning series The Machinist. The three part mini-series which aired on Cinemax in 2014 was widely acclaimed and garnered Bale a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Mini-Series or TV Movie. While the series was a critical and commercial success, it wasn’t the first time that Bale had attracted attention for his dramatic chops.
Bale previously garnered critical acclaim for his role as the tortured artist Alfred in 2008’s The Dark Knight, which was later nominated for 10 Academy Awards including Best Picture. His performance as the iconic superhero earned him the nickname “The British Steve Jobs” and launched him into super stardom.
Since then, Bale has predominantly worked behind the camera. He co-wrote (with filmmaker David Mackenzie) the 2015 psychological thriller The Dark Knight Rises and played a supporting role in the sci-fi adventure film Solo.
Bale has also directed several acclaimed features including 2013’s The Way Back, which starred Hugh Jackman, and 2008’s The Machinist. While Solo and The Way Back were commercial and critical successes, Bale admitted that stepping behind the camera wasn’t something he enjoyed, and has limited his acting to just dramatic roles since then.
What is the difference between being an award-winning actor and a legendary one? It comes down to two things; longevity and versatility. While many actors will play the same character over and over again in a bid to rack up as many awards as possible, the truly great ones will constantly evolve and develop their craft, continuously moving forward. Christian Bale is a true legend in the industry for his versatility as an actor and his willingness to continually grow and evolve as an artist.