He may be known by most as Batman, but his time as the “Dark Knight” tends to overshadow the fact that Christian Bale is one of cinema’s finest actors. The Academy Award-winner became a superstar when he took over the mantle as the caped crusader in 2005, but as a child in 1987, Bale was already cutting his teeth under Steven Spielberg. Bale possesses an unmatched ability to drastically alter his body for his roles. From dropping down to 121 pounds to play an insomniac in The Machinist (2004), to bulking up to a muscular 190 to play Batman, Christian Bale knows no limits when it comes to getting into character. At the end of Batman Begins (2005), Gary Oldman says, “I never got to thank you,” to which Bale famously replies, “And you’ll never have to.” But on behalf of film lovers everywhere, we’d like to say thank you, Mr. Bale. We love you.
Watch Now: Velvet Goldmine starring Christian Bale.