The Ford v Ferrari star reveals his wife's favorite is Trevor Reznik from The Machinist

By Kara Warner
November 21, 2019 08:00 AM

Christian Bale has an award-winning knack for immersing himself into his film roles — chameleon-like abilities which serve him very well as an actor, with the added benefit of occasionally, accidentally, entertaining his family members when certain characters have come home with him.

“I do it less now that I have kids because I don’t want to confuse them,” he tells PEOPLE in the latest issue. “My wife definitely had favorites. She was like, ‘Ah, I miss him. He’s gone. You’re a d—. I want you to be that character again.'”

And who was his wife’s favorite?

“[Sibi] actually really liked Trevor Reznik, from The Machinist,” he says. “I think it’s just about him and me just f—— sitting there being too weak to be able to do anything. Totally incapable.”

Bale famously lost 60 pounds to play the troubled insomniac in the 2004 drama, before regaining 70 lbs. and adding 30 lbs. of muscle to play Batman Christopher Nolan’s 2005 film Batman Begins.

Christian Bale and wife Sibi Blazic
Rachel Luna/Getty Images
Christian Bale in The Machinist
Nicolas Geller/Paramount Classics/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock
  • For much more on Christian Bale, his costar Matt Damon and Ford v Ferrari, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE on newsstands Friday.

“Whatever she told me to do, I did it. I suspect it’s that,” he says with a laugh. “No, he was actually incredibly peaceful, incredibly Zen, no roller coaster. I slept two hours a night. That was it. I couldn’t sleep longer than that. And [when] I was up, I would sit and read a book for eight hours straight, beginning to end, and I didn’t have to shift.”

“That was incredibly Zen,” adds Bale. “It was the most relaxed and calm I’ve ever been, and I think she just adored that. But also I know her, she would get really bored.”

Celeste Sloman

The Oscar winner says that there’s always a piece of a character that lingers after filming wraps, and he has to work to reorient things.

“There will be a certain look that you’ve gotten for a part, a voice that you’re doing, and it can take a little while to remind your mouth that that’s not how you normally sound, so that lingers for a while, no matter how much you try,” he explains. “They can return very quickly. That’s the thing that’s interesting. And I always thought, every single role I do, the next role I’m doing, it takes me forever to figure out how to play it not like the role I was doing last.”

He adds, “Like when I was coming to Ken Miles [for Ford v Ferrari], I kept on reading it like Dick Cheney [from Vice] and I was going, this isn’t going to work, ‘Like come on mate, what’s going on here?'”

Ford v Ferrari is now playing in theaters.