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MAIN Arrow to Art & Culture Art &... Arrow to Hollywood Pop Culture Arrow to ActorsActors Arrow to Christian Bale Christian Bale

christian baleKnown as an "actor's actor" with a widely diverse repertoire of movie portrayals and accents, the Welsh-born English movie star, born Christian Charles Philip Bale on January 30 1974.

The youngest of four children who spent time traveling throughout Europe with his circus performer mother, Jenny James, Christian began acting work in TV commercials as a young boy. His first screen role came when he was all of 13, appearing in Steven Spielberg's Empire of the Sun playing an English boy interred in a Japanese internment camp during World War II.

Serious and shy, and having received a bit too much attention from the role, the young actor contemplated giving up acting altogether. But in a legendary meeting with Kenneth Branaugh, he was later persuaded to appear in that actor's film production of Henry V in 1989.

From then on, Bale was kept busy in various teen roles in Hollywood films, among them two Disney releases - Newsies (1992) and Swing Kids (1993). A year later, he was cast opposite Winona Ryder in the film adaptation of Little Women and in several other movie appearances, including the 1999 film version of A Midsummer Night's Dream.


American Psycho and beyond

Christian Bale in American Psycho
As Patrick Bateman
in "American Psycho"

 

With the subtle shading and expert skill has exhibited in adult roles since then, Christian Bale's career skyrocketed in 2000 when he next appeared in the controversial filming of American Psycho, based on the bestselling novel by Bret Easton Ellis.

As Patrick Bateman, the actor embodied the chilling lead character who posed as a typical urban yuppie while carefully hiding the cold-blooded psychopath within.

Although the level of violence in the film was not warmly received by critics, the role secured Bale's cult status and Hollywood reputation as a fearless and committed actor.

Several disappointing films followed, including a similar dark role in the 2000 sequel to 1971's Shaft, a forgettable performance as a Greek fisherman in Captain Corelli's Mandolin (2001), and his first action-adventure role as a dragon slayer in the ill-fated Reign of Fire in 2002.

That same year, with the release of Equilibrium (which critics panned as a rip-off of the more successful Matrix franchise, complete with slo-mo marshal arts scenes) the actor's portrayal of a lawman John Preston garnered Bale an even stronger fan following, and the film itself enduring cult status.

Christian Bale
Christian Bale as Bruce
Wayne in "Batman Begins"

 

Surprising film critics in 2004, he next appeared in the limited release of The Machinist in which he played a haunted insomniac, a role requiring Bale to lose a startling 60 pounds throughout filming.


Batman Begins and The Dark Knight

An even larger fan base of "Baleheads" was to grow as the actor, having just completed filming of The Machinist, was cast as Batman in the new Christopher Nolan-directed film series (beating out a number of other Hollywood stars including the heavily favored Jake Gyllenhaal).

The role required a now emaciated Bale to quickly bulk up for the lead role in Batman Begins, which earned him wide critical praise for his dual portrayal as Bruce Wayne/Batman - and for which he received a "Best Hero" award a year later from a young movie-going public at the 2006 MTV Movie Awards. Bale also provided the voice of Batman for the equally successful video game based on the film.

Following the success of Batman Begins, Bale returned to smaller, independent films such as the critically praised Harsh Times in 2006, and in a secondary role in The New World starring Colin Farrell, along with lead roles in Rescue Dawn and The Prestige starring with Hugh Jackman and Scarlett Johansson.

Bale next appeared in the highly-anticipated sequal in the Batman franchise, The Dark Knight, co-starring Heath Ledger as The Joker, released on July 18, 2008.

In addition to The Dark Knight, in 2008 Bale appeared in I'm Not There, a biopic of muscian Bob Dylan, and co-starred with Aussie actor Russell Crowe in 3:10 to Yuma.The following year, he starred as John Connor in a new installment in the Terminator franchise Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins.

In 2011, the actor accepted an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for a riveting role as the hyperactive drug addict Dicky Ecklund in The Fighter (2010). The following year, in the much-anticipated addition to the Batman franchise, Bale reprised his role as the caped crusader in Dark Knight Rises.

In 2013, Bale appeared in Scott Cooper's thriller Out of the Furnace, and starred in American Hustle, which reunited him with director David O. Russell, after their work on The Fighter.

Bale is next set to appear in two Terrence Malick directed films shot in 2012, Weightless and Knight of Cups. He is also reportedly playing the lead Rawbone in The Creed of Violence, an upcoming crime drama directed by Todd Field.

Away from the movie studio, Bale is married to former model Sibi Blazic and has a daughter, Emmaline born in 2005, and a son born in 2014.



More about Christian Bale around the Web:

Christian Bale.org - Major fan site with up-to-minute news, busy forum, picture galleries, video clips, movie trailers, wallpapers, filmography.

Christian Bale - An Unofficial Appreciation - Personal fan site featuring the actor's bio, vital stats, fun facts & trivia, an extensive photo gallery of Christian Bale magazine photo shoots, complete filmography, audio and video files.

Ask Men - Christian Bale - Complete bio, photos, facts on his movie career, reader comments.

 

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