Entertainment Tonight (October 5th, 2004)


Actor Christian Bale likes to take risks, whether it’s playing a serial killer in the controversial ‘American Psycho’ or Jesus of Nazareth in the TV movie, “Mary, Mother of Jesus.”

Now, Christian plays an insomniac whose mental health is deteriorating in ‘The Machinist,’ in theaters October 22. The Welsh-born actor talks about his haunting new film – and how he lost a whopping 60 pounds for the role!

“I was down to 121 and it was kind of a personal challenge to me,” he says. “Could I mentally discipline myself to actually achieve that.” He continues: “I didn’t intend to lose that much weight when I started. I didn’t think I’d be able to.”

Bale’s diet on the 8-week shoot consisted of mostly liquid. “The last few weeks I’d get very milky coffee,” he says. “And I’d make that last the entire day.”

In ‘The Machinist,’ a gaunt Christian plays Trevor Reznik, a man whose insomnia is so intense that he hasn’t slept in a year. His co-workers are suspicious of his shocking, emaciated appearance and his mental health is deteriorating. Alone, he has only his call-girl girlfriend (Jennifer Jason Leigh) to comfort him.

When Trevor is involved in a shop accident that causes a man to lose his arm, his paranoia grows: a mysterious co-worker involved in the accident seems to never have existed; cryptic notes start turning up in his apartment; and it appears that his co-workers are conspiring to have him fired – or worse. Is fatigue robbing Trevor of his sanity? Or are the people around him trying to drive him mad?

Once the shoot was over and Bale was allowed to eat normally again, it wasn’t burgers or pizza he was craving, but fruit!

“I dreamed of apples the whole time,” he reveals. “When we finished, different crew members would bring me apples from all around Spain for me to sample. I gorged on apples for some time!”

Next up for Christian is the highly awaited ‘Batman Begins,’ in which the 30-year-old actor puts on the famous comic-book hero’s cape and cowl to play the titular character in his early days of crime fighting. The film costars Michael Caine as Alfred the butler, Gary Oldman as Lt. James Gordon and Katie Holmes as love interest Rachel Dawes. ‘Batman Begins’ hits theaters next year.