Christian Bale filmography and biography
Date of birth: 30 January 1974, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, Wales, UK
Christian Bale biography
The 10th Anniversary issue of "Entertainment Weekly" crowned Christian
Bale as one of the "Top 8 Most Powerful Cult Figures" of the past
decade, citing his incredible and legendary cult status on the
Internet. EW also calls Bale one of the "Most Creative People in
Entertainment" after his brilliant turn as the psychopathic yuppie
serial killer in American Psycho. And "Premiere" lauded
him as one of the "Hottest Leading Men Under 30". Christian Bale has
garnered a huge international audience ever since he wowed critics with
his devastating performance in Steven Spielberg's WWII epic
Empire of the Sun.
Bale made his professional debut opposite British comedian Rowan Atkinson on the London West End stage. He auditioned with 4000 other kids for the coveted role of James Graham in Spielberg's Empire of the Sun. Bale received a special citation for Best Performance by a Juvenile Actor from the National Board of Review -- an award specially created for his performance in "Empire". In the following decade, Welsh-born Bale has appeared in Shakespeare, dramas and comedies demonstrating a versatility, depth and range that has made him one of the best reviewed actors today and one of the most popular actors on the Internet. Bale is the youngest in a family of 3 older sisters (Erin, Sharon, and Louise Bale).
Christian Bale trivia
- Hand-picked by director/writer Mary Harron (I) and author Bret Easton Ellis to star in American Psycho. Consequently, was noted by the media as the first star of American Psycho, only to lose the part to Leonardo DiCaprio and then win it back again.
- Is an excellent horseman and an avid reader.
- He trained for 10 weeks in dancing and martial arts for the dance sequences in Newsies and Swing Kids.
- He has an uncanny ear for accents - he has used a different accent for each of his films to date.
- Bale was handpicked by Winona Ryder for the coveted role of Laurie (Theodore Laurence) in Little Women.
- His father, David Bale, married feminist icon Gloria Steinem on September 3, 2000.
- A devoted animal lover, Christian has two dogs [Mojo and Ramone] and three cats [Miriam, Molly, and Lilly], which are all strays that he found.
- 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.
- His grandfather doubled for John Wayne (I) in two movies, in Africa.
- His first on-screen role was in 1983 at age 9 in a British commercial for Pac-Man cereal.
- He replaced Leonardo DiCaprio for the film American Psycho.
- Stepson of feminist author Gloria Steinem
- His father, David Bale, died on 30 December 2003, from brain lymphoma at the age of 62.
- He was raised in England, Portugal and California.
- His great-uncle, Rex Bale, was an actor.
- His father was a former commercial pilot.
- His mother was a former circus dancer.
- He has three sisters: musician Erin Bale; computer professional Sharon Bale; and director/actress Louise Bale, who appeared in Newsies.
- His grandfather was a stand-up comic and children's entertainer.
- Met his wife through Winona Ryder; she was Ryder's personal assistant.
- With Batman Begins, he has become the seventh actor to play Batman/Bruce Wayne in a live-action film. The others were: Lewis Wilson in 1943's, Robert Lowery in 1949, Adam West in the 1966, Michael Keaton for the first two installments of the Batman film series, to be replaced by Val Kilmer and George Clooney.
- Dropped an amazing 63 pounds for his role as the emaciated insomniac Trevor Reznik in the film The Machinist with only a single vitamin consultation with a nutritionist to guide him. For the most part, he only ate salads and apples, chewed gum, smoked cigarettes, and drank nonfat lattes.
- Considered getting formal acting training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) when he was twenty, but decided to focus on working instead.
- Has been in 2 versions of the John Smith/Pocahontas story. He provides the voice of Thomas in Pocahontas and plays John Rolfe in The New World.
- Turned down the opportunity to reprise the role of Sean Bateman in the Roger Avary-directed The Rules of Attraction.
- His wife, Sibi Blazic, gave birth to the couple's first child, a girl named Emmaline Bale. The baby was born 27 March, 2005 in Santa Monica, California.
- In the "Fresh Air with Terry Gross" radio interview first aired June 13, 2005, he admitted to Gross that because Batman is "such an American icon", he had decided not to perform his promotional interviews for the movie Batman Begins in his natural mixed Welsh/English accent. Instead he spoke to Gross in an almost inflection-less mid-American accent, only revealing his dialectic roots with a few words.
- Has 3 older sisters: Erin, Sharon & Louise Bale'
- Two of his most famous character's names have a difference of only one letter. Bateman and Batman.
- Since a young age he was very ambitious about attending Drama School, and auditioned for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), and the Central School of Speech And Drama at the age of twenty. He was accepted to all, but was convinced by his parents to continue working instead. To this day, he regrets not attending drama school for his personal passion of learning his craft.
- The nameplate on his trailer for Batman Begins read "Bruce Wayne" as opposed to Bale's name.
- First non-American actor to portray Batman/Bruce Wayne.
- Is the youngest actor to portray Batman.
- Owned a home he shared with his sister, Louise Bale, in Manhattan Beach.
- Before he played "Batman" in Batman Begins, his sister Louise Bale played Batman's mother in The Death of Batman.
- Auditioned for the role of Jack Dawson in Titanic and almost got the role but people felt that it wouldn't be "fair" having two Brits playing two Americans (Rose was American as well, she says in the movie that the Titanic was a slave ship bring her back to America).
- Considered for the role of Will Turner in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.
- Is a distant relative to the 19th-Century thespian Lily Langtry.
- Shares the role of Batman with Val Kilmer.
- Since reading "Charlotte's Web", he does not eat red meat.
- If he plays an American character, he will use an American accent in all the interviews related to the film. He says he does this so the audience isn't confused.
- Daughter Emmaline, born 27 March 2005.
- Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#13). .
- Although born and raised in Wales, his family is actually English.
- Was good friends with actor Heath Ledger.
- His fans refer to themselves as "Baleheads".
- His father was an activist and adventurer and his mother a circus dancer so he never lived in one place for very long while growing up.
- A very private individual, he has never publicly confirmed the name of his daughter.
- Beat out nearly 4,000 other auditions for the role of Jim Graham in Steven Spielberg's Empire of the Sun (1987).
- Was introduced to acting by his sister, Louise.
- Alongside Michael Keaton, he is the only other actor to portray Bruce Wayne/Batman in more than one live action film.
- Took up vegetarianism at the age of six but has since returned to eating meat.
- Lives in Los Angeles with his family.
- (July 2008) Was arrested over verbal assault allegations made by his mother and his sister just hours after he attended the European premiere of his movie The Dark Knight in London. Upon reviewing the case, the London police decided not to charge him with anything.
- While working on Schindler's List, Steven Spielberg paid a visit to Bale on the set of Swing Kids (1993), as both movies were partially filmed in Prague.
- Was considered for the part of James Bond in Casino Royale.
- Has said that he considers it an honor to have been called a "mofo" by Samuel L. Jackson in a movie.
- C.Bale and wife belong to Board of Trustees in The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International.
- Dislikes doing interviews.
- Met Drew Barrymore on the set of 'Empire of the Sun' 1987_, who was visiting her godfather, Steven Spielberg. He was thirteen and she was twelve. Later they would both admit to having a crush on one another at the time.
- He was involved in already infamous incident where he was recorded verbally assaulting cinematographer Shane Hurlbut on the set of Terminator Salvation for interrupting him during an intense scene. Bale has since apologized, but the incident was widely heard across the Internet.
- Is an avid fan of video games and cites Super Mario as one of his all-time favorites growing up.
- Lives in Santa Monica, California.
- Appears in Batman Begins and Terminator Salvation. Both were follow-ups to earlier films (Batman amp; Robin and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines) that had starred Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Christian Bale quotes
- [interview in "Spin" magazine, March 1996] An actor should never be larger than the film he's in.
- [on dealing with the resulting media attention of Empire of the Sun at age 13] It was horrific. I was almost crying in interviews and running away during press conferences, pretending I was going to the bathroom and just disappearing.
- [on the sudden fame that resulted after Empire of the Sun] I enjoyed making the film, but I was shocked when I received all the attention when I got home to Bournemouth. Girls were all over me, boys wanted to fight me, and I was being asked to open local fÃªtes when all I wanted to do was ride my BMX bike in the woods. I told my parents I wasn't interested in doing anything again because the attention ruined it.
- I don't want to know about the lives of other actors and I don't want people to know too much about me. If we don't know about the private lives of other actors, that leaves us as clean slates when it comes to playing characters. That's the point, they can create these other characters and I can believe them. I think if you're a good enough actor, that's the way to longevity in the film business. Keep everybody guessing.
- I started my career without fans.
- [on his 63-pound weight loss for "The Machinist" (The Machinist)] I had a stupid kind of feeling of invincibility, like, "I can do it, I can manage it". I really did feel like I hit this point of enlightenment.
- I always like that. Whenever there's a project where everyone's going, "Oooooh, it's a bit dodgy", I always like it. If you actually look at it, there tends not to be anything risky at all. Why did I start acting in the first place? I didn't do it to be mediocre or to please everybody all the time.
- I'd love to remain a secret and still work, but I also want people to see the movies I'm in and get a higher profile because of that. I like to think that as long as you continue choosing diverse roles, you can avoid becoming predictable.
- It's the actors who are prepared to make fools of themselves who are usually the ones who come to mean something to the audience.
- [on his transformation into Patrick Bateman for American Psycho] The character is so vain and obsessed with his looks. While the psychology of the character was something that I could perform, you can't fake the physicality. Being English, I tend to enjoy going down to the pub far more than going to the gym, so it was very unnatural for me. I just had to convince myself that I loved it, which was the most difficult thing about playing this part. Working out is incredibly boring. I swear it's true that the bigger your muscles get, the fewer brain cells you have. I found I had to stop thinking when I was in the gym because if I thought about it, I'd realize how ridiculous it was that I was pumping iron when I could've been out having a drink and a cigarette and enjoying some lunch. I did three hours a day for six weeks with a personal trainer and some time before that. I ate an awful lot during training and then almost nothing during filming.
- The only thing that I'm obsessed with is sleeping and, actually, it is more than an obsession, it is a pleasure. I love sleeping so much that I could do it 12 hours a day if I didn't have to turn on the alarm clock . . . and still, sometimes . . .
- Our Batman [Batman Begins] is centered on the early days. It's an explanation. It's certainly not Batman No. 5. It's a reinvention. We want you to forget there has ever been a Batman before this one.
- [on Batman Begins] I've never felt like the Batman character in the films was given as much time as any of the villains. The villains were always the most interesting characters, too. Batman has always been this very bizarre, almost blind character running through the middle of the story. Our film is different.
- [on Batman Begins] I contacted them. I heard they were doing some low-budget Batman not aimed at kids and I was tantalized. I had appreciated the Batman movies, but I wasn't really a fan and I didn't know the TV series. But I read some of the graphic novels, and they were very dark and very interesting.
- I spent about three weeks in Chicago last July doing night shoots [for Batman Begins]. It's a great city, but the humidity was tough under the Batsuit. Uh, it got a little bad. It's hot enough in the Batsuit, let alone in the Chicago heat.
- I needed money because I had just bought a house, but I just kept saying, "I really can't do another movie that I know is not going to turn out the way I want it to, and that I have to make a lot of concessions in my head for".
- For me, there's a bigger risk trying ['Batman Begins (2005)_]. Ultimately, the big point was that [Christopher Nolan (I)], who you would not expect to be doing that kind of movie, was going to direct it, which is exactly what I was looking for, because you want to do something totally different from the other Batman movies. I always thought there could be a really good movie made about Batman and when I heard that Chris was doing it I thought, "Well, he's not a director that you would expect, therefore you're going to get the unexpected from him". I think there's a great potential for going very dark with it, it's a fascinating character, very complex psychologically, which I've never seen done. You know, you have the two extremes, which are both very good. You can either go the very camp Adam West (I) TV series thing [Batman], which was great in its own way, or you can go more the way of the graphic "Dark Knight" novels which delve somewhat deeper.
- I had spent weeks staring at the wall in my house out of depression because of things that had gone wrong and the choices I had made. When I read "The Machinist" [The Machinist], I just went, "Wow! This is perfect". I was having dreams about the character and I couldn't stop thinking about it. I felt like this one was going to save my arse, and pull me out of the depressed state I had got into.
- I did other things, but my heart was never in it. A lot of actors say that theater's the thing for them. And that's great, and I'm not one to speak with any authority about it because of not having done it properly. For me, movies are what I love.
- At first, I was somewhat hesitant to do the role [Batman Begins]. I mean, after all, Batman is an icon. But I remember, as clear as day, being at the grocery store the day the movie opened, and this little boy saw me. He couldn't have been more than five years old. He just walked right up to me and hugged me. He hugged me, and I was so moved by it that I hugged him back. Then he looked up at me and said, "You're my hero." And in that moment, I knew that not only as an actor that I had done my job, but that I had made the right decision to play Batman. And I've never looked back on my the decision to play Batman since.
- [on playing Batman] You couldn't pull it off unless you became a beast inside that suit.
- I only sound intelligent when there's a good scriptwriter around.
- I'm English. Our dentistry is not world famous. But I made sure I got moldings of my old teeth beforehand because I miss them.
- I don't think I'm like any of the characters I've played. They're all really far from who I am.
- You can't help but find that violence is endlessly fascinating--and I mean true violence, not action-movie violence, just because it is used as the answer to so many problems. We're all taught as kids not to be violent, but you can't help but also see that violence is what works very often. Bullies thrive.
- I think there's a kind of pretentiousness to the idea that serious work is only found in low-budget independent movies--I can't stand that snobbery.
- I like being kept in the dark myself. You know, like mushrooms: Keep 'em in the dark and feed 'em shit. See, I think that's an enjoyable vegetable to be.
- At the time that [Christopher Nolan (I)] asked me to do it [Batman Begins] I actually couldn't do one push-up. They sent me to a trainer, who was having to hold my T-shirt at the back just to pull me up. I've come a long way from that.
- [on filming Batman films during the summer] I'm not really looking forward to wearing a black rubber suit in the summertime in humid Chicago. If you see a pool of sweat through the city, follow it and you will find me.
- [describing director Christopher Nolan (I)'s method for filming Batman Begins] We tend to shoot at night like some kind of covert operation. So, we have minimal people actually seeing me in that way.
- [on being asked if he knew how big a flop Newsies was] You say something bad about "Newsies" and you have an awful lot of people to answer to.
- He's a messed-up individual, as well. He's got all sorts of issues. He's just as twisted and messed-up as the villains he's fighting, and that's part of the beauty of the whole story. - on the character of Batman
- (2007 - On his career) I've been able to work on movies that I like very much in the past few years, which I think have turned out how I had hoped that they would. And, I'm human, you know; that makes me feel good. I like it when people like what I do. I don't like it when people are laughing at me for what I do, you know? I mean, I'd love to say I was completely impervious to anybody's opinion, but that just ain't the truth. Of course, it matters. At the same time, there's also a danger when you start playing it too safe. After all, what am I paid to do? I'm paid to essentially make an ass out of myself, if needed. And occasionally, in doing that, you're going to fall flat on your face. But, I have learned, through doing that numerous times in my life, that there's also a ton of enjoyment to what other people see as humiliation. You can actually come to sort of thrive on that, because in a way, it kind of leads to a sort of fearlessness, if you genuinely don't mind. If the point is that you tried, I think that really is the most important thing. And, like you said, I feel like I've been very fortunate in the last couple of years that I've gotten to do what I loved, which is actually the making of movies, and on top of that, if I've liked how the movies have turned out themselves, then that's fantastic. But, to start getting too comfortable within that would be eventually to start churning out boring, boring chaff.
- I'm accustomed to not having any map for my life. I'd be reaching for an Uzi if I knew what was going to happen every day. If anybody tells me I shouldn't jump, of course all I want to do is jump and show it can be done.
- Life is not stable. There is a great strength that comes from not being shocked or scared by upheavals.
- I don't think I was particularly in need of superheroes. I never had any fascination with Superman or Spider-Man or a Batman kind of character. If it happened at all, it was imagined characters that I had invented. My dad was a role model for me. He was a fascinating man. There was intrigue and entertainment growing up with him. He gave me an edict that I still pursue: "Life should never be boring."
- [on meeting Arnold Schwarzenegger in a car park] He's got bodyguards and they were all shouting at me and I was going, 'Hold on, hold on, I've met him before!' but they were getting very worried as I walked toward him. But we chatted a bit. He had questions about Terminator Salvation, he didn't know the script at all but I hear apparently he's now seen the movie... I'll wait to hear what his reaction is...
- Variety is essential for me. I love watching a Michael Mann (I) movie. I love watching a Christopher Nolan (I) movie. Just to talk about my stuff, I enjoy a The Machinist kind of movie, a Rescue Dawn, a 3:10 to Yuma, an American Psycho, whatever. But I also love watching The Terminator movies, I love watching the _Batman_ movies...
- Public Enemies is very timely. The Depression had people resenting the fat cats, the banks and so you've got someone like Dillinger being a hero because he was making a difference - he was getting it back for himself and so many people looked at him and romanticised that.
- You look back at the history of the Oscars - some of the best movies never got sh
- [on Heath Ledger's Oscar win for The Dark Knight] Heath winning Best Supporting Actor was fantastic. I had dinner with his family a couple of nights before the awards and liked very much they were the people who were picking it up for him. Of course I was really delighted that it did go that way.
- I'm actually someone that's very anti the whole B-Rolls, DVD extras and stuff like that. I understand people are interested, I get that they want to hear about it, but to me I look at it as old school movie magic and with magic you do not reveal your secrets.
- [Terminator 2: Judgment Day] is the original nightmare of just being pursued that everyone has, by somebody who just will not stop, never stops, doesn't give up. And when you've got someone who looked like [Arnold Schwarzenegger] coming after you it made a big difference.
- [on avoiding media coverage of Heath Ledger's death] I paid no attention to it. I knew him, I knew the family and why the hell would I sit there listening to idiots who don't know anything at all? I literally didn't read anything, didn't watch anything (after he died). If I happened to be watching anything that came on, I switched over straight away. It's incredible the way the voyeuristic outlook is accepted as news.
- [on The Dark Knight] Many times I'll work with actors and I can tell they're thinking: 'What are you doing? Why are you going that far with it?' or 'You're nuts!' With [Heath Ledger], I could feel him going: 'I love it!'
- I don't feel like I have to explain, 'Well, I'm not really like this. I'm a wonderful guy and I have a lovely smile and how can you not like me?' - on his infamous onset rant on Terminator Salvation
- [on his infamous on-set rant on Terminator Salvation] It wouldn't have happened if we hadn't been playing that scene, for Christ's sake, between John Connor and his wife, which is probably the most intense one in the movie...I'd definitely say that that guy who was yelling was at least half John Connor, and the rest was Christian Bale.
- Look, I hate to throw people under the bus for making movies I don't think are very good. But for Terminator Salvation to be considered with any legitimacy, you have to throw number three [Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines] under the bus. It began to spoof the whole thing. To me, that was a sign that the franchise was dead, the mythology was finished.
- [on Terminator 2: Judgment Day] I really liked the second one. It had as much to do with the electric atmosphere in the theater when I saw it at 17, when I was first getting out to the States, and I'd never been in a movie theater that had that much noise and excitement throughout the entire movie.
- [on starting a new trilogy with Terminator Salvation] I hope that it will be a really fun, great movie trilogy if this one takes off and that we get to do a second or third, with me or not, whatever the scenario is. I think there is actually - in the hands of the right people - a real revival for this and an extension to an already good mythology.
- I was up in Toronto and went to see that movie Life Is Beautiful. By myself. And when I came out, I had a craving for blood unlike anything I had ever experienced since I decided to go vegetarian at the age of 7. It was a compulsion. It was undeniable. I went to several restaurants, one right after the other, and got the biggest, bloodiest steaks I could get my hands on. It was the first time I had tasted flesh in almost twenty years.