Christian Bale (born 30.1.1974)
Christian Bale is a British actor. His biggest role to date has been as the lead in two Batman films.
Christian Bale: Childhood
Christian Bale was born in Wales, but spent parts of his childhood in England, Portugal and the USA. When he was a child, his mother Jenny worked in the circus, riding elephants.
Christian learned ballet and guitar as a child and was inspired by his sister's work in the theatre to pursue acting. In 1982, Bale was given a role in a Lenor advert and later appeared in an advert for Pac-Man cereal. In 1984, Bale made his stage debut alongside Rowan Atkinson in a production of The Nerd.
Christian Bale: Acting Career
Christian Bale's film debut was in the TV movie Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna. His co-star, Amy Irving, was married to Steven Spielberg and she recommended Bale to her husband for a role in Empire of the Sun, Spielberg's adaptation of J.G. Ballard's semi-autobiographical novel.
Bale's performance in Empire of the Sun brought him a great deal of attention - not all of it welcome. For a while, Christian considered giving up acting. In 1989, Bale was approached by Kenneth Branagh to appear in Henry V, an offer that he accepted. He then went on to star in Treasure Island, opposite Charlton Heston, in 1990.
Four years later, Winona Ryder chose Bale to star in Little Women. His other notable film roles of the 1990s include voicing the character of Thomas in Pocahontas, playing Arthur Stuart in Velvet Goldmine, the Todd Haynes glam rock tribute and working alongside Michelle Pfeiffer and Rupert Everett in A Midsummer Night's Dream in 1999.
Christian Bale's breakthrough came in 1999, when he was awarded the role of Patrick Bateman in Mary Harron's adaptation of the Bret Easton Ellis novel American Psycho. Bale's preparation for the role was intensive; he trained extensively to achieve an athletic physique and refrained from socializing with the crew, to retain the psychopathic side of Bateman's character.
Following the success of American Psycho, Bale went on to undertake a varied range of characters. He played a Greek fisherman alongside Penelope Cruz and Nicholas Cage in Captain Correlli's Mandolin. In 2002, he starred alongside Frances McDormand in Laurel Canyon.
Bale undertook his role in Reign of Fire, with some trepidation. The film was the first action movie that he had appeared in. His concerns were soon to be realised, when the film was a flop. Shortly after the release of Reign of Fire, Bale appeared in Equilibrium. This film was also a commercial failure but went on to become something of a cult classic.
In 2004, Christian Bale starred as Trevor Reznik in The Machinist. For the role, he went on a crash diet consisting mainly of coffee and apples. By the time he finished filming the movie, he weighed only 55kg, achieving a shocking skeletal look for the insomniac paranoid character of Reznik.
Christian Bale's next major career move came when he was cast as Batman in Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins, a new extension of the Batman franchise that was a move away from previous efforts by Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher. Coming straight from filming The Machinist, Bale was given six months to gain 46 kg. Bale later returned as Batman for the 2008 release of The Dark Knight. The film grossed over $400 million within 16 days of its release.
Returning to independent films, Bale starred in Harsh Times alongside Eva Longoria and Freddy Rodriguez. In the film, he plays a veteran of the Afghanistan war, suffering with post-traumatic stress syndrome.
2006 was a busy year for Christian Bale. Firstly, he starred in Rescue Dawn, by Werner Herzog, then in The Prestige and I'm Not There (a reflection on the life of Bob Dylan), as well as the remake of 3:10 to Yuma, alongside Russell Crowe.
Christian Bale: Personal Life
Christian Bale married Sandra Blazic in 2000 and the pair have a daughter Emmeline (b.2005)
In July 2008, Bale was arrested for a verbal assault on his mother and his sister Sharon. He was released without charge.