Christian Bale is an English actor.
His full name is Christian Charles Philip Bale.
He was born in Pembrokeshire, Wales, UK on January 30, 1974, to English parents Jennifer “Jenny” (James) and David Charles Howard Bale.
His mother was a circus performer and his father was an entrepreneur, commercial pilot and talent manager.
Bale has three sisters: : musician Erin Bale; computer professional Sharon Bale; and director/actress Louise Bale.
Bale acknowledged that the frequent relocation had a major influence on his career choice.
His first acting role was a commercial for the fabric softener Lenor in 1982.
In 1984, he made his stage debut in The Nerd on London’s West End with Rowan Atkinson.
A role in the 1986 NBC mini-series Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna (1986) caught Steven Spielberg’s eye, leading to Bale’s well-documented role in Empire of the Sun (1987). Bale’s remarkable performance in the war epic won him the Young Artist Award for Best Young Actor in a Motion Picture and the National Board of Review Award for Outstanding Juvenile Performance.
The overnight stardom and mounting expectations of people backfired as he found it difficult to adjust with the newly-found fame and star status. However, he soon calmed his nerves and appeared in Kenneth Branagh’s 1989 adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henry V (1989) and starred as Jim Hawkins in a TV movie version of Treasure Island (1990).
Bale appeared in such popular youth-oriented films as Newsies (1992), Swing Kids (1993), and Little Women (1994), for which actress Winona Ryder handpicked him to play Laurie.
Bale also provided the voice of Thomas, a young compatriot of Captain John Smith, for the Disney animated movie Pocahontas (1995).
In 1999, Bale contributed to an all-star cast, including Kevin Kline, Michelle Pfeiffer, Stanley Tucci, and Rupert Everett, portraying Demetrius in an updated version of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Bale roared into the next decade with a lead role in American Psycho (2000), director Mary Harron’s adaptation of the controversial Bret Easton Ellis novel. He researched his character by studying the novel and prepared himself physically for the role by spending months tanning and exercising in order to achieve the “Olympian physique” of the character as described in the original novel.
His streak of success at the box office virtually ended in 2002 after his three films released for the year failed to make it to the box office, namely, Laurel Canyon, Reign of Fire and Equilibrium.
After a year’s hiatus, Bale returned in 2004 to play Trevor Reznik, the title character in the psychological thriller The Machinist. Bale gained attention for his devotion to the role and for the lengths to which he went to achieve Reznik’s emaciated, skeletal appearance. For the most part, he only ate salads and apples, chewed gum, smoked cigarettes, and drank nonfat lattes. He reduced his weight by 28.5 kg (63 pounds) in a matter of months.
He regained the weight to portray the dual role of Bruce Wayne and Batman in Batman Begins (2005). The new take on the iconic superhero was a critical and commercial success.
Bale continued to highlight his versatility, playing an obsessive magician intent on revenge in The Prestige (2006), a struggling rancher in the tense American western 3:10 to Yuma (2007), and Bob Dylan in I’m Not There (2007).
Bale reprised the role of Batman in the sequel The Dark Knight (2008). He trained in the Keysi Fighting Method, and performed many of his own stunts. The film earned more than $1 billion globally.
Bale’s next role was the eyebrow-raising decision to take over the role of John Connor in the Schwarzenegger-less Terminator Salvation (2009), followed by a turn as federal agent Melvin Purvis in Michael Mann’s Public Enemies (2009).
Bale starred alongside Mark Wahlberg in David O. Russell’s 2010 drama film The Fighter. Bale’s portrayal of the drug-addicted brother of a promising boxer, for which he lost 14 kg (30 pounds), was universally acclaimed: he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor, the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and 30 other awards in 2011 for the performance.
In The Flowers of War (2011), directed by Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou, Bale starred as an American mortician who shelters a group of young women during the Nanjing Massacre.
He donned Batman’s cape once again for the final installment of the Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises (2012).
In 2013, Bale portrayed Russell Baze in Scott Cooper’s thriller Out of the Furnace.
Bale then morphed into a bloated, swaggering con artist in director David O. Russell’s American Hustle (2013), for which he received an Oscar nomination for best actor. For this role he gained 20 kg (43 pounds), shaved his head to yield a realistic comb over, and affected a slouch shortening his height by 7.6 centimeters (3 inches), which resulted in a herniated disc.
In 2015, portrayed an eccentric money manager in the black comedy The Big Short, about the 2008 financial crisis. The film earned Bale nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
In the same year Bale appeared in Knight of Cups directed by Terrence Malick.
Bale then played a journalist in The Promise (2016), about a love triangle during the Armenian Genocide.
Christian Bale has an estimated net worth of $80 million.
Bale has been married to Sandra “Sibi” Blažić, a former model and personal assistant, since 2000. The couple have two children: daughter Emmaline (born 2005), and son Joseph (born 2014).
Bale has resided in Los Angeles since 1992.
Bale has been described in the media as one of the most versatile and talented actors of his generation.
Toward the end of the 1990s, with the rise of the Internet, Bale found himself becoming one of the most popular online celebrities around, though he, with a couple notable exceptions, maintained a private, tabloid-free mystique.
Christian is active in many organizations, including Ark Trust, Greenpeace, the World Wildlife Foundation, the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, the Redwings Sanctuary, and the Happy Child Mission, and a school for street kids in Rio De Janeiro.
With Batman Begins (2005), he has become the seventh actor to play Batman/Bruce Wayne in a live-action film.
He is the first non-American actor to portray Batman/Bruce Wayne.
He replaced Leonardo DiCaprio for the film American Psycho (2000).
Bale beat out nearly 4,000 other auditions for the role of Jim Graham in Steven Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun (1987).
While working on Schindler’s List (1993), Steven Spielberg paid a visit to Bale on the set of Swing Kids (1993), as both movies were partially filmed in Prague.
He is still an avid motorcyclist he but gave up track racing after getting into multiple accidents and receiving a steel plate for his broken wrist, a titanium clavicle and 25 screws for his hand. At one
point he also lost the top of his finger but it was later reattached.
Bale is an excellent horseman and an avid reader.
He is an avid fan of video games and cites Super Mario as one of his all-time favorites growing up.
His fans refer to themselves as “Baleheads”.