1. Christian Charles Philip Bale (born 30 January 1974) is an English actor. He has starred in both blockbuster films and smaller projects from independent producers and art houses.
2. Bale first caught the public eye at the age of 13, when he was cast in the starring role of Steven Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun (1987).
3. Based on the original story by J. G. Ballard, Bale played an English boy who is separated from his parents and subsequently finds himself lost in a Japanese internment camp during World War II. In 2000, he garnered critical acclaim for his portrayal of serial killer Patrick Bateman in American Psycho.
4. He is known for going to great lengths to portray characters in film, notably for the psychological thriller The Machinist (2004), where he lost 63 pounds (28.5 kg) to play the role of Trevor Reznik.
5. Bale went on to receive greater commercial recognition and acclaim for his performance as Bruce Wayne/Batman in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012).
6. He also portrayed Dicky Eklund in the David O. Russell-directed biopic The Fighter (2010), for which he received critical acclaim and won several awards, including the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role.
7. In 2013, he also gained critical acclaim for his performance in the comedy-drama American Hustle, another film directed by Russell.
8. His parents divorced in 1991, and while his mother and sister Sharon stayed in Bournemouth, he moved with his father to Los Angeles, California at age seventeen. His first acting role was a commercial for the fabric softener Lenor in 1982.
9. A year later, he appeared in a Pac-Man cereal commercial playing a child rock star.
10. In 1984, he made his stage debut in The Nerd on London’s West End with Rowan Atkinson.
11. Bale made his film debut as Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich of Russia in the made for television film Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna in 1986, which was followed by leading roles in the miniseries Heart of the Country and the fantasy adventure Mio in the Land of Faraway, in which he appeared with Christopher Lee and Nick Pickard.
12. In 1999, Bale played serial killer Patrick Bateman in American Psycho, director Mary Harron’s adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’ controversial novel.
13. Bale was briefly dropped from the project in favour of Leonardo DiCaprio, but DiCaprio eventually dropped out to star in The Beach, and Bale was cast once again.
14. He researched his character by studying the novel and prepared himself physically for the role by spending months tanning and exercising in order to achieve the “Olympian physique” of the character as described in the original novel. He went so far as to distance himself from the cast and crew to maintain the darker side of Bateman’s character.
15. American Psycho premiered at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival to much controversy.
16. Roger Ebert condemned the film at first, calling it pornography but gave it a favourable review, writing that Harron had “transformed a novel about bloodlust into a film about men’s vanity.”