Christian Bale has completely transformed for Dick Cheney role
Christian Bale is no stranger to drastic transformations. As a prolific and popular star of the big screen, he has turned up in everything from superhero blockbusters, to intimate character studies, to Westerns. He always brings a unique energy to his roles, never settling for an average performance simply for the paycheck.
He has embraced this philosophy all the way down to the way he physically looks on screen, often changing his body to get into a new character. It was widely reported when he lost a lot of weight to play the drug-addicted Dicky Eklund in The Fighter. His performance won him an Oscar, but this wasn't even his most extreme case of transformation.
In 2003, he underwent a radical change for his role in The Machinist. He became skeletal through a diet of "water, an apple and one cup of coffee per day, with the occasional whiskey", losing 62 pounds to take on the role of the paranoid insomniac. There are rumours that he wanted to go even further, but the producers stepped in to prevent his health suffering too much.
Six months after this movie, he landed the role of a lifetime as Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins and had to put all the weight back on again. After a high-protein diet and a regime of heavy-core, plyometrics and resistance training, he gained 100 pounds only for the director to tell him to lose 20.
It looks as if the Hollywood star has undergone yet another transformation in an effort to take on a new character – this time from the world of politics. In an upcoming biopic, Bale will play the former Vice President Dick Cheney. Titled Backseat, the film reportedly explores Cheney's influence over the Bush administration and his role in US foreign policy in the aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks.
We knew that some kind of change would be needed, seeing as Cheney and Bale look nothing alike. Now we can see part of that transformation. He's not in full make-up and prosthesis yet, but Bale has gained plenty of weight and even bleached his eyebrows to take on the look of the former VP.
He was spotted at the Telluride Film Festival this week where he was doing press for his upcoming film Hostiles. The 43-year-old actor is due to start filming Backseat this month, which explains why he is well on his way to taking on Cheney's image.
The movie will be directed by Adam McKay, who started with slapstick comedies like Anchorman and Step Brothers but has become increasingly political with the Oscar-winning The Big Short, focusing on the 2007 financial crisis and housing market collapse.
Backseat will also star Amy Adams as Lynne Cheney, Sam Rockwell as George W Bush, and Steve Carell as Donald Rumsfeld. Since Rockwell looks nothing like the former president, we can assume there's plenty for the make-up department to do for him, as well as for Bale. Though it looks like he's gone through plenty of change already.