The biggest misconception about Christian Bale is that he’s a natural chameleon. He isn’t – Bale brings to each role recognisable Bale-isms, similar tics that he repeats across almost all his films. What sets Bale apart from the rest is that he tries harder than arguably any other star actor to transform himself role-on-role.
Unlike Daniel Day-Lewis or Tom Hardy, a pair that could be described as ‘natural chameleons,’ Christian Bale wills himself into diversifying. It’s why he’s had such a varied and fascinating career – Bale is one of very few star actors that actively force themselves into a new challenge, into playing a wildly different character with each new movie.
With The Big Short now on wide release and drawing major awards attention, Bale is set for a (deserved) potential third Oscar nomination for playing real-life hedge funder and financial crash prophesier Mike Burry.
In anticipation of the Academy Awards, join us as we look back on ten other great performances by one of the more dedicated and interesting leads in the business.