Christian Bale can embody characters like few other performers. The method actor, who became a shimmering picture of well-toned health in American Psycho, while beefing up even more for Batman, and losing it all for The Machinist, has again put his body on the line for his latest film, Vice, where he plays a overweight and balding Dick Cheney.
Christian Bale is not afraid to put his mind and body on the line for the movies. He became a household name after starring in American Psycho as Patrick Bateman, the sadistic Wall Street banker with a penchant for murder and a love of Phil Collins. But aside from his powerhouse performance – oozing charm that made him an anti-hero who was still lovable even when wielding a chainsaw around a screaming young woman – was his picture of health, so perfectly showcased by a finely-tuned athletic body.
Perhaps Bale was just a man who liked working out, happy to show the benefits of pumping iron and face masks on the big screen. But as we’ve seen since, the method actor is willing to go to extremes to make a character work. He lost nearly four and half stones in weight for The Machinist, in which he appeared as an emaciated insomniac. Conversely, he piled on the pounds for American Hustle, David O. Russell’s crime comedy, in which he played a pot-bellied con artist. And it is the “pie eating” prep for that role which sees him now playing Dick Cheney in political drama Vice.
Steve Carell joins Bale and director Adam McKay (having previously all worked together on The Big Short). Amy Adams, who worked with Bale on American Hustle, Sam Rockwell and Bill Pullman round out the principle cast members playing Lynne Cheney, George W. Bush and Nelson Rockefeller, respectively.
Vice is a biopic focusing on Cheney’s rise up the political ranks. It remains to be seen if his infamous shooting of a lawyer in 2006 during a quail hunt will make an appearance.
Vice is in UK cinemas from February 1, 2019.