Christian Bale unrecognisable after huge weight gain for Cheney film

Christian Bale's played everything from a hot, but crazy, Wall Streeter to a down-and-out boxer.

Christian Bale’s no stranger to big transformation when it comes to film roles.

The actor famously lost 28 kilograms (60 pounds) to pay an insomniac in The Machinst by eating one can of tuna and/or one apple a day for almost four months, while doing intense cardio workouts to speed up the weight loss.

He then bulked up for his next role, as Batman in Batman Begins, five months later, reportedly putting on almost 50 kilograms (109 pounds) by doing weights and eating small meals of protein and carbohydrates every two to three hours.

And he’s done it plenty of other times too, getting ripped for American Psycho, losing weight for The Fighter, then gaining it for The Dark Night Rises.

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But the star was almost unrecognisable when he hit the red carpet at the Toronto International Film Festival, where he was promoting his role as former US vice president Dick Cheney in an upcoming biopic about the politician. Cheney served under presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford but was most famous as George W. Bush’s VP between 2001 and 2009, where he was a key player in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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Bale did not say how much weight he’d gained to play the rotund, balding Cheney in the new film, which hasn’t yet stared filming, but his face was clearly very different, with a new double-chin forming in place of his normally sharp jawline. When asked about the change, he explained that he had been “eating a lot of pies” in preparation.

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Equally interesting is likely to be the transformation required of comedian Steve Carrell, who is due to play former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld in the same, as yet unnamed film.

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Do you think these kind of dramatic physical transformations can be healthy for actors?