Christian Bale is one of the rare specimens in Hollywood who can reconstruct his appearance with every single role, because, well, that’s kind of his gimmick now. From emaciated to jacked, there’s not one body type Bale can’t do. I’ve braved the chesty, distended, and frail travelogs of Bale’s transformations to bring you a comprehensive look at this English chameleon whose form has become as elasticized as a rubber band.
Empire of the Sun (1987)
We all have to start somewhere, and before Bale hit the gym to become a beefy Bruce Wayne, and before he starved himself to become a disgustingly skeletal night terror, he was just a normal teenaged boy. A normal teenaged boy starring in a film by one of the most successful director/producers (Steven Spielberg) of all time. Yup, totally normal stuff I’m sure we can all relate to.
Swing Kids (1993)
Peanut butter and jelly. Cookies and milk. Nazis and swing music. All of these things could not do without the other. Anyway, we’re here to talk about Christian Bale’s abs, and it’s not clear whether he’s developed any yet at the end of his teenage years, but he’s looks to be in normal fighting shape.
Velvet Goldmine (1998)
Alright, the soon-to-be-Psycho is finally hitting the gym, getting his weight up. Standing next to director Todd Haynes — or an Eddie Izzard doppelgänger — he looks like Mr. Universe, but that seems rather easy. Moving on…
American Psycho (2000)
This may be Bale at his most shredded as it looks like he has .0001% body fat. We’ll call this the beginning of the yo-yo years, which — to this day — have not ceased. How many ladies want to re-purpose those tighty-whities into a shower cap?
Reign of Fire (2002)
In a film starring Bale and Matthew McConaughey (also a weight fluctuating prophet from the future) as two really fit badasses fighting dragons, it’s hard to tell which actor is testing my heterosexuality more. Perhaps it’s the whole dragons concept that’s really putting the squeeze on? Not sure, but Bale looks like he put on a little more size here, which must be just great to do whenever you please. “Oi! I think I should put on 10 kg. of muscle for this one,” said no one not never.
The Machinist (2004)
No, you’re not on a bad ayahuasca trip. And, yes, Christian Bale is exactly what your tour guide to hell would look like, so good luck sleeping. Bale famously lost 63 pounds for this role, effectively cementing his status as the human Stretch Armstrong. Skeletal Bale just wants a hug. Go hug bony Bale. Just don’t squeeze too tight.