Because he’s known for playing Batman—the super toned, super strong, super brooding action hero of Gotham—most people probably imagine the peak of physical fitness when they think of Christian Bale. But for his latest role, in which he plays former Vice President Dick Cheney, the British actor had to put on some weight in order to resemble his subject, and he really didn’t cut any corners.
While promoting his new movie, Hostiles, Bale got real about how he’s changing his look to play Cheney. In a sit-down interview with Variety, Bale reveals that he has been eating “a lot of pies,” in order to gain weight for the movie, which doesn’t yet have a title and has yet to begin production, and to be honest, it’s working. He looks remarkably different. It’s the type of physical transformation Bale is accustomed to; in the 2004 film The Machinist he lost around 60 pounds in order to look as though he was starving. Then, he gained weight again for American Hustle, which came out in 2013.
“I thought I was going to lose the weight I gained for American Hustle. I said, two months, flat, that’ll do it. I was 185 and I went up to 228 for it. And I’m still working that off! It’s almost six months later. Now, I know that when I was in my early twenties it would have been two months and that’s it,” he told USA Today at the time.
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Bale completed this latest transformation into Dick Cheney by taking one other very important cosmetic step: bleaching his eyebrows.
Steve Carell will co-star as Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, as will Amy Adams, who is slated to play his wife, Lynne Cheney. According to Vanity Fair, they apparently haven’t been indulging in pies as much as their co-star—both of their figures have remained the same since they signed on to the film.