Yahoo! News (October 22nd, 2004)

BALES MAKES LIGHT WORK OF FILM ROLE

The actor set to follow Val Kilmer, George Clooney and Michael Keaton into Batman’s ankle booties, Christian Bale, has proved how far he is prepared to go to make an acting role work.

Bale dropped from 184 to 121 pounds for his part as Trevor Reznik in his new psychological thriller, The Machinist.

In the script, Reznik was described as resembling “a walking skeleton” and Bale took the suggestion to heart.

He shed the pounds with a combination of gruelling runs and an ever-diminishing diet until his appearance shocked director Brad Anderson and co-star Jennifer Jason Leigh.

But Bale, who also starred in American Psycho and Empire of the Sun, was determined to get inside the head – and body – of his character, who has been unable to sleep for a year because he is haunted by fear and paranoia.

When Matt Damon starved himself to lose 40 pounds for Courage Under Fire, he became so ill when he started eating again that he was under medication for two years afterwards.

Bale says he got stuck into the doughnuts when the film was over because he wanted to bulk back up to play the lead in Batman Begins. Now he’s put on too much flab and is being advised to cut down again.

“I thought I’d be able to eat a few mouthfuls, but I was a bottomless pit,” he said.