Movie actor Christian Bale encouraged himself to lose weight for his role as an emaciated factory worker in The Machinist by pinning a picture of a malnourished Hank Williams to his script.

The normally muscle-bound Bale, who ended up weighing 54 kilograms (eight and a half stone) by the time shooting began, refused to compromise the movie by not losing enough weight.

He explains, "The more I read the script the more I realised this doesn't work unless he looks like he's at death's door.

"He can't look like he's a little bit skinny. You go out in the street - not so much in the States but in the rest of the world - half the people are a little bit skinny.

"This had to be someone you looked at and thought, there's something wrong there.

"I had a nice photograph of Hank Williams, taken when he was 29 and getting released from jail, about three months before he died. The guy looks like he's about 60 - emaciated, very poor condition.

"I blew that up and had it on the front of my script. That was what I was going to aim for."

24/02/2005 09:42