“I like the idea of movies having a magic element. How many times have you seen an actor in a movie who you know only as the character? It’s wonderful, isn’t it?”
It is said that an artist has done a commendable job only when they are not remembered by their original name but through the art that they have created. For instance, how many times have you seen a picture of Christian Bale and remembered him as the characters that he has portrayed on the silver screen? For us, apart from being a name on the list of great personalities, he is Batman or the several other characters that he played. He is definitely that actor who gave life to the fictional characters that he played on screen. He is that method actor who moulded himself into every character and infused them with a life of their own. So, lets us pay a tribute to his art and have a look at 10 of the greatest roles played by Christian Bale.
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Bruce Wayne – Batman Series
Christopher Nolan’s Batman Trilogy would have been impossible without having Christian Bale playing Batman. The brilliance of Batman is his two distinct personas. He gained worldwide acclamation for the way he highlighted this distinction through his acting skills. The character arc of Batman takes four distinct dives and Christian Bale’s acting did justice to each one of these. So much so that one could easily distinguish one from the other. He might have decided to not return to the silver screen with another Batman movie but he will always be remembered by his fans as Batman.
Patrick Bateman – American Psycho
The cinematic adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho enabled us to see Christian Bale in the guise of a Manhattan based investment banker turned serial killer. We all know the impact that he created on screen through his portrayal of Patrick Bateman. A character of a serial killer imbibes qualities like insanity and cold-heartedness and Bale’s depiction brought all those qualities together and created a masterpiece which is still remembered by us all. If you are a fan of Christian Bale then this one is a must watch for you.
Dicky Ecklund – The Fighter
Did you know that the character of Dicky Ecklund from Fighter was first offered to Brad Pitt and Matt Damon? Can you even imagine anyone else playing Dicky after the brilliance with which Christian Bale portrayed him on screen? This particular character is one of the most remarkable characters that Bale played in his career, and considering the hard work that he put in, how could it have turned out in any other way. May it be Dicky’s Boston accent, or his physique of a trainer who was also a drug addict, Bale made sure that he stepped into the shoes of the character and left his own real self behind the camera. And it’s for this contribution that he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Jack Rollins – I’m Not There
Through the musical Drama film I’m Not There we go to know the musical journey of Bob Dylan but it also familiarised us with the potential of Christian Bale as an actor. The film begins with the caption, “inspired by the music and the many lives of Bob Dylan ” and we have in the film Christian Bale portraying two of these lives. We saw Bale in the role of Pastor John and Jack Rollins, depicting two distinct stages of Dylan’s life and those who have seen the film know how his acting echoed the reality which Dylan lived.
Dick Cheney – Vice
In this biopic titled Vice, Christian Bale came to the screen as the former United States President and put forth a landmark performance. In Vice, we saw Bale in a complete new avatar, fitting his character. His overall appearance gave him an upper hand but without his acting skills the role would have been incomplete. And knowing the kind of dedication Bale puts towards his work, he successfully caught onto every detail and intricacies of the character and succeeded in marking this role as another feather in his cap.
Moses – Exodus: Gods And Kings
The criticism that the film Moses – Exodus: Gods And Kings faced in terms of its casting and storyline is something that we all are aware of. But what redeems the film is Christian Bale’s portrayal of Moses. This “barbaric schizophrenic” version of Moses was criticised by many but no-one really found a fault in the way it was projected by Bale. Well, the film is not the best that Bale has been a part of but that doesn’t take away the exceptional performance that Bale put forth as Moses.
Irving Rosenfeld – American Hustle
This one earned Bale an Academy Award for the Best Actor. And if you have seen American Hustle, you know no one deserved this award more than Christian Bale. Playing the role of Irving Rosenfeld, a con artist was not an easy journey for Bale, he had to lose several pounds to get pictured as Irving. And this is the kind of dedication which is demanded from an actor and Bale stepped up to the challenge and aced the role on the silver screen.
Michael Burry – The Big Short
Getting nominated for an Oscar is not something which is taken lightly in the world of cinema and for his portrayal of Michael Burry in The Big Short, Christian Bale received that nomination. This acts as a testimony for Bale’s performance in this film. This character required a balance of intelligence and a sense of solemnity and if you have seen the film you know this balance is what stole the show. So, even if the film was not a huge success among the audience, this role contributed in paving Bale’s way towards success.
Melvin Purvis – Public Enemies
In Public Enemies, Christian Bale shared the screen with Johnny Depp and with their outstanding performances complementing one another, emerged as a classic robber-agent duo. In the film, we see Christian Bale in the role of FBI Special Agent Melvin Purvis. As the film was biographical, Bale made sure that he does justice to the original Melvin Purvis and for this purpose he closely studied his life and brought the kind of zeal with which Purvis led his life to the screen.
Alfred Borden – The Prestige
With the kind of magic that Christian Bale created through his acting, how can his career be complete without playing an actual magician on screen? In Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale’s The Prestige, we got to see Bale in the guise of the magician Alfred Borden. It’s a movie which was rewatched by many just to figure out the magic tricks and some rewatched it because of the captivating performance that Bale put forward. Now, he was not the central character but that didn’t stop him from giving his best.
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So, this was our list of the 10 greatest roles played by Christian Bale. Now, we all are eagerly waiting to see him spread his magic again through the upcoming film Thor: Love and Thunder. But while we are waiting, let’s watch all these classics of Bale and get reminded of his position as a top notch actor. And if you had fun going through this list, follow us at Leverage Edu and remain updated with more such interesting content.