Christian Bale Has Finally Found A Health Reason For Refusing A Movie Role

27th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala - Awards Presentation
Getty Image / Charley Gallay

Christian Bale has made quite a career out of going to extremes to portray characters as realistically as possible. Sometimes he just has to put together the easy package of a wig and a weird accent, but more often than not he is gaining and losing weight at astonishing levels faster than you can say “Thank You, Alfred.” There’s The Machinist, for which he reportedly lost more than 60 pounds to play main character Trevor. For The Fighter, Bale didn’t go quite as far but still slimmed down drastically to portray the drug-addicted boxer Dicky Eklund.

Then there are the ones where he packed on the pounds. Inexplicably, Bale not only gained all of his Machinist weight back for the subsequent filming of Batman Begins but put on even more muscle weight than before – all within a year or so. For his acclaimed work in American Hustle, it was reported that Bale gained more than 40 pounds to inhabit his conman role. In each case, his commitment has been above and beyond to the role and the project and has rewarded him with positive reviews (for the most part) and praise from his directors. Yet, even with all of his past extremes leading to great reviews, it seems that Bale has finally found a limit when it comes to his weight and movie roles.

According to The Wrap, Bale has backed out of Michael Mann’s Enzo Ferrari biopic amidst health concerns over the weight gain required for the part. As they report:

Production had been slated to start this spring in Italy, but the Oscar-nominated actor was reluctant to put on the weight that the role requires.

Rumors have been swirling for a few days regarding Bale’s status as part of the production, and there is nobody lined up to take his place as of now. There is no definitive answer as to what kind of weight we’re talking about here, but if it is making Bale second guess the commitment then that’s a serious amount. Enzo Ferrari wasn’t a hugely obese man, but to be fair even the task of gaining a few dozen pounds on such a tight shooting schedule has the potential to backfire in the health department. It’s unfortunate that Bale couldn’t stay on board with this project seeing as he would almost certainly have received awards season attention for it, but there’s also no chance in the world that he won’t find another movie that lets him show off his ridiculous commitment to method acting soon enough.

(via The Wrap)