POSTED April 18 2014

Christian Bale, Shape-Shifter

Unknown-2I suppose I became a Balehead –as his cult identifies the devotees of  Christian Bale — the third time I watched Empire of the Sun (1987) which coincided with the first time I saw Little Women. Like Drew Barrymore and Leonardo DiCaprio, Bale is the rare child actor who made the passage from child to adult actor. The difference is that the Bale made the transition without having to take off his clothes (like Barrymore in Poison Ivy ) or take out his gun (like DiCaprio in The Basketball Diaries).

Even though Bale is the star of those solo freak shows American Psycho and The Machinist, his forte is to fit himself into ensemble films (including Little Women, Laurel Canyon, The Dark Knight trilogy, Rescue Dawn and American Hustle) rather than dominate movies built to burnish a mythical persona.

Here are some thoughts about Bale and his imaginative acting style. Anxious to hear yours. Do you have a favorite Bale performance?




  1. Excellent article. I really enjoyed it.

  2. sarah says:

    Fantastic article. Informative and warm.
    – A fellow Balehead.

  3. mark s. says:

    A freak speaks. Bale’s performance in Mary (I Shot Andy Warhol) Harron’s ‘American Psycho.’ With the overachiever, Jared Leto. Really enjoyed your essay.

  4. MURRAY says:

    I always talk about him and the many great movies he’s done.
    Willim Dafoe is another great but under rated actor. Both do all kinds of movies.

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