Christian Charles Philip Bale (born 30 January 1974) is an English actor.
Bale has achieve drastic physical transformations over the years to prepare for his wide-ranging Hollywood roles.
In an interview with TRAIN Mag Bale tells us about some of these transformations. He starts here:
TRAIN: Talk us through the Christian Bale transformation – Which was the toughest one?
I stuffed myself after The Machinist. My first screen test for Batman Begins was a month and a half away after finishing The Machinist, so I had to get my weight back up. Then I had about five months to reach what you see in Batman Begins. At the start I was eating often and I was eating foods very high in calories because I lost 60lb.
It took me a while to even be able to work out properly after The Machinist as well, so at first it was slow progress exercise wise. I didn’t start running until a few weeks after I got my weight back up. I love running and it’s something I always do when I’m not working. I enjoy running more than weights. I think it clears the brain and obviously, it’s good for the heart.
He continues this same answer by saying:
“When I was able to workout again, I’d learnt a lot about training from American Psycho, Equilibrium and Reign of Fire. I learned a lot about bulking, cutting and nutrition, so that was something I brought into the Batman role. And my regime: I would do splits – every day focusing on a different muscle group.
I would do three sets of 10 to eight, depending on what I was working on. Usually, the last set was a little lower rep-wise because I’d want to be struggling, you know? Then I’d always shock my body with drop-sets and supersets.
“Actually, I gained too much weight in the run up to Batman Begins. I wasn’t the size that Christopher Nolan wanted, so I had to cut down 20lb or so just before shooting – I was a lot beefier at first. That cutting down was achieved by going on a calorie deficit and running more and for longer. I cut a lot of the carbs out of my diet for those few weeks as well.”
In an interview with Men’s Journal Bale and MJ tell us about his Batman Begins transformation as well; naming it one of the most impressive they’ve seen after such an insane weight-loss phase (which came from apparently having a diet based around coffee and apples). Here’s how Men’s Journal and Bale tell us he bulked back up:
Bale’s meals followed a ratio of one part fat, two parts protein, and three parts carbohydrate. A vegetarian, Bale avoided conventional protein sources such as chicken and beef and instead gorged on eggs, cottage cheese, and protein shakes. He ate every three hours throughout the day.
His interview with TRAIN continues on to tell us more about his nutrition:
TRAIN: You seem to have your diet and nutrition down whether you have to gain or lose weight.
Not including The Machinist, Rescue Dawn or The Fighter – where I had to lose weight – my role for American Psycho was my most restrictive diet-wise. There were no cheat meals. It was all lean protein. No sugars, good fats and low carbs.
Playing Batman and my other physical roles while I was very dedicated to my diet wasn’t as severe. With Batman my goal was to be lean, yet have a muscular physique, but not as lean as I was in American Psycho.
My whole thing was about having speed, strength, stamina and agility – being that lean would be counterproductive to some of those things – I want a bit more weight there. Batman relies on speed and strategy. Diet-wise I would eat smaller meals every two or three hours. Each meal I would aim for a balance of lean proteins, carbs and good, healthy fats.
Pretty much every meal would have that mix. I’d also try to eat a lot of vegetables, drink good old H2O and more low-calorie fruits when I’m cutting.
In regards to preparing for his role in The Machinist
The producers of the film claim that Christian Bale dropped from about 173 pounds in weight down to about 110 pounds in weight to make this film. They also claim that Bale actually wanted to drop down to 100 pounds, but that they would not let him go below 120 out of fear that his health could be in too much danger if he did. His diet consisted of one can of tuna and an apple per day.“I came up with the absolutely brilliant method of just smoking cigarettes and drinking whiskey to lose weight,” Bale said. “But then when I tried it once again in my 40s, that didn’t work quite as well. I was waking up with heart palpitations and just not feeling right at all.”
His 63-pound weight loss is said to be a record for any actor for a movie role. He regained the weight in time for his role in Batman Begins (2005).