Bale was 12 when Steven Spielberg cast him inEmpire of the Sun, beating out 4,000 kids who also auditioned. Amy Irving, who was then married to the director, had recommended Bale after starring with him in the TV movie Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna.
Bale played Edward Rosier in Campion’s 1996 period pic The Portrait of a Lady, one of several films in which Bale portrayed a mild-mannered character, including the role of Laurie in Little Women.
Bale has starred in two of the director’s films, Velvet Goldmine in 1998 and a decade later in I’m Not There, which also reunited Bale with Batman co-star Heath Ledger.
4. Terrence Malick
With the Batman franchise wrapped, Bale is making his next two movies with Terrence Malick,Lawless and Knight of Cups. The two first worked together on The New World in 2005.
When casting Bale in Batman Begins, Christopher Nolan said he had just the right balance of “darkness and light.” In between the two Batmanmovies, Bale made Nolan’s The Prestige.