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How Many Times Did Christian Bale Change His Appearance for Roles?

Christell Fatima M. Tudtud
May 25, 2022
11:10 A.M.
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The first full trailer of "Thor: Love and Thunder" gave a glimpse of actor Christian Bale's terrifying character, Gorr the God Butcher, ominously presented in black and white.

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The chilling villain's eyes grow an intense yellow-orange while declaring, "All gods will die." The trailer, which dropped during the NBA Eastern Conference Finals on May 23, stirred up online excitement among Marvel fans.

Prior to the full trailer, fans were treated to a teaser over a month ago. The teaser showed the first glimpse of actress Natalie Portman's superpowered character Jane Foster wielding the hammer.

Christian Bale attends the Premiere of FOX's "Ford V Ferrari" at TCL Chinese Theatre on November 4, 2019 in Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images

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HOW MANY TIMES CHRISTIAN BALE CHANGED HIS APPEARANCE FOR ROLES?

Bale, known for truly going "method" to play iconic characters, drastically changed his appearance for movie roles at least ten times, including dramatically losing or gaining weight.

Bale famously underwent a shocking transformation for his role as Trevor Reznik in the 2004 thriller "The Machinist." He reportedly shed off 60 pounds to portray a terrifyingly skinny man plagued by insomnia.

Years later, he opened up about his experience filming the iconic movie, saying that he felt like he had abandoned his body. He also said he struggled to walk up a flight of stairs.

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Christian Bale accepts Best Actor in a Comedy Movie Award for "Vice" during the 24th annual Critics' Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on January 13, 2019 in Santa Monica, California. | Source: Getty Images

For the 2000 film "American Psycho," he bulked up and even had dental work done to portray Patrick Bateman, a wealthy businessman and murderer obsessed with his image.

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To realistically portray this character, the then-26-year-old Bale bulked up his upper arms and developed abs through an intense workout and a strict diet regimen.

Christian Bale attends the "Vice" press conference during the 69th Berlinale International Film Festival Berlin at Grand Hyatt Hotel on February 11, 2019 in Berlin, Germany. | Source: Getty Images

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Meanwhile, Bale enlarged his body by 43 pounds for his role in the 2013 movie "American Hustle," where he played conman Irving Rosenfeld. Besides going from 185 pounds to 228 pounds, he also adopted a bad posture that led to a back injury.

"American Hustle" director David O. Russell also revealed that the actor lost three inches of height and got a herniated disc because of his body transformation. Bale admitted he struggled to return to his original weight after filming the movie.

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For the 2018 film "Vice," Bale added 40 pounds to his weight to portray former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, even though he was told it was unnecessary because advanced prosthetics could do the trick.

The actor went through hours of painstaking hair and makeup to imitate the look of the famous political figure. He also changed his posture and mimicked Cheney's voice.

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HOW FANS REACTED TO CHRISTIAN BALE IN "THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER?"

Meanwhile, Bale's superhero debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the trailer received plenty of strong reactions from fans of the highly successful franchise. Many expressed their thoughts on Twitter.

Most commentaries appeared to be positive, with a shocked fan describing Bale's look as "awesome." Another stated that the actor's presence in the film is "perfect casting."

One slightly unfavorable opinion pointed out that Bale's look as Gorr departed too much from the comics. However, the same fan said that there's no doubt Bale would pull off the role.

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WHY CHRISTIAN BALE ADMITS HE HAS TO STOP CHANGING HIS WEIGHT?

Bale loves to go the extra mile to portray his roles realistically, often pushing his body to its limits with his intentional weight gain or weight loss.

But after gaining around 50 pounds to portray former Cheney in the 2018 film "Vice," Bale realized that dramatically adjusting his body weight for a show was unhealthy.

The "Ford v Ferrari" actor stated he couldn't do it any longer because of the risk to his health and that it was time to abandon the harmful method.

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