SIGNATURE QUOTE: “I’m whatever Gotham needs me to be.” [...]
GREATEST ASSET: A super-actor with impossible good looks and a dark side.
THE START: Welsh-born Bale was just twelve when he starred in Steven Spielberg’s “Empire of the Sun,” after appearing in a few commercials and performing on the London stage with Rowan Atkinson in “The Nerd.” His performance in “Empire” earned him excellent reviews [...] The hearts that Bale didn’t win with “Newsies” were convinced with his portrayal of Laurie in Gillian Armstrong’s adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women,” which was a winner in 1994.
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: After a handful of supporting roles and smaller films [....] Bale was handpicked to star in Mary Harron’s ”American Psycho,” based on Bret Easton Ellis’ novel about psychopathic ego-maniac yuppie Patrick Bateman. He delivered an unnerving and commited performance that still ranks as one of his best. After Lisa Cholodenko’s “Laurel Canyon” (2002) and Rob Bowman’s “Reign of Fire” (2002), Bale returned to disturbing character portraits with Brad Anderson’s psychological thriller, ”The Machinist,” (2004) which was our first look at Bale sans body fat and muscle. His performance in “The Machinist” is even more impressive considering he would debut as the Batman to end all other Batmans in ”Batman Begins” only a year later. The film not only spawned the uber-successful trilogy that concluded after ”The Dark Knight” and ”The Dark Knight Rises,” it also cemented Bale as a certifiable action star/badass as well as a great method thespian. Werner Herzog’s “Rescue Dawn,” David Ayer’s “Harsh Times” and Nolan’s ”The Prestige” all followed in 2006, with Bale alternating between heroic and villainous roles. Between the “TDK” and “TDKR” Bale also starred in James Mangold’s remake of Western ”3:10 to Yuma” and Michael Mann’s ”Public Enemies.” Often forgotten in Bale’s oeuvre (amidst the Batman hoopla) is Bale’s performance as John Rolfe in Terrence Malick’s tragically underappreciated ”The New World.” [...] While Bale’s Oscar win came for his lauded supporting role in David O. Russell’s ”The Fighter,”as fallen-from-grace crack-addict Dicky Eklund, it’s shocking that none of his earlier performances were nominated.
MISFIRES: We can blame ”Terminator Salvation” on McG, but truth is, it wasn’t Bale’s best work either.2011′s ”The Flowers of War,” despite being China’s most expensive film, failed both at the box office and as a foreign Oscar hopeful [...].
CAREER ADVICE: Since Bale has maintained a successful chameleon career outside of the Batman franchise, he has little to worry about.
Full article here (thx, Maria).