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Friday, September 17, 2021

Is Christian Bale an actor, or some kind of Kafkaesque hunger artist?

That’s a fair question, in light of his turn as a crack addict in new release The Fighter. To lend authenticity to the role, he dropped about 30 pounds.

And this is nothing new for Bale. A few years back, his frame underwent a drastic 100-pound swing between his roles in The Machinist and Batman Begins. So really, thirty pounds must have been a walk in the park — he goes from skin-and-bones to bulked-up at the drop of a hat. He’s not the only one who undergoes this radical weight-shifting; I’m reminded of Val Kilmer’s similar 50-pound shedding from five years ago.

What makes this body-mass purging so baffling is why Bale, Kilmer, et al feel it’s necessary. Can’t CGI special effects and makeup accomplish the same, or better, result? It’s ironic that filmmaking technology is at a stage where such visuals can be convincingly simulated, yet actors still feel compelled to shock their physiques into character form. It’s less acting, and more physiological stunt work.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 09/17/2010 07:55pm
Category: Celebrity, Movies
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