Happy 41st Birthday Christian Bale! Pictorial birthday tribute to the Welsh thespian

BdayBale

Happy weekend everyone! Well, today marks the 41st Birthday of one of my favorite actors: Christian Bale. I’ve done a few posts on the Welsh thespian, including a commentary on his roller-coaster career and a Birthday Tribute post when he turned 37. I couldn’t resist doing a post on him today and I thought I’d just do a pictorial tribute that highlights his amazing versatility and incredible chameleon-like quality.

Thanks Nostra for the inspiration for my top banner from his ‘Many Faces Of…’ posts. From the time he was a child actor when he was only 12 in Empire of the Sun up until today, Bale remains one of the hardest working actors who constantly challenges himself both physically and mentally to play a variety of roles. I’ve seen about 22 of his 40+ completed TV/Film work, which is perhaps the most from any living actor, yet there are still holes in my Bale viewings that I still need to check out, esp. The Machinist. It’s incredible that in his illustrious career, he’s only been nominated for Oscar twice (The Fighter, American Hustle) and finally won in the latter.

Bale_EmpireoftheSun
1987 – Empire of the Sun

So this is a tribute to the performances I have seen over the years, broken down by decades:

1990s

Only Bale would follow up a Glamrock drama (Velvet Goldmine), where he donned heavy eye shadows & glitter AND have gay sex with Ewan McGregor, with playing Jesus Christ in a TV movie just a year later. [ It’s nuts to think it’s Obi-Wan & Batman together, and wouldn’t you know it, Ewan is also playing Jesus in Last Days in the Desert which premiered at Sundance].

2000

This is Bale’s most prolific year and also the decade when he became a household name when he’s cast as Batman in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. His breakthrough role is definitely Patrick Bateman in cult classic American Psycho, a role he nearly lost out to Leo DiCaprio [is that why the two movie stars never worked together to this day?] I think that movie became more widely seen after his Batman movies, but it shows what a committed actor he is and that he’s fearless in taking on um, batty roles like Bateman.

Not every movie he does is good however, I mean hell-o Captain Corelli’s Mandolin 😛 Whatever possessed him to take on that movie, I mean he’s completely wasted in that flick. Reign of Fire was blasted by critics but I actually think it’s an underrated sci-fi extravaganza set in post-apocalyptic England where people had to battle um, fire-eating dragons. It’s amusing that his BFF and dragon-battling partner was King Leonidas himself (Gerard Butler), well before he gained those 12-pack abs that’d eclipse Bale’s buff physique here. Bale’s also pretty much wasted in Laurel Canyon, though he’s so gorgeous in that movie that I didn’t mind 😉 And of course Terminator Salvation is more famous for his rant to a DP who interfered him during a take of a supposedly emotional scene. I barely remembered him in Public Enemies, but the following year he emerged in top form (by losing a massive amount of weight) to play real-life boxer Dick Ecklund in The Fighter, which deservedly earned him his first Oscar.

2011 and beyond!

Bale completed his third Batman role in The Dark Knight Rises, looking appropriately world-weary.

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2012 The Dark Knight Rises

The shape-shifting continued as he gained 40+ pounds for the 70s crime drama American Hustle. Not only that, he also sported the most hilarious comb-over ever put on screen!

Bale_AmericanHustle
2013 American Hustle

Not satisfied with having already played THE main hero from the Bible in Mary, Mother of Jesus, Bale took on the role of Moses in Exodus: Gods & Kings. But even his performance couldn’t save Ridley Scott’s latest effort to reclaim Gladiator’s epic glory.

Bale_Exodus
2014 Exodus: Gods and Kings

I said on this post that I’d love for him to do an unabashedly romantic movie. It’d be great to see him in a sweeping drama with a deep love story at its core, but perhaps we might see a glimpse of that in Knight of Cups?

KnightOfCups_still1
2015 [hopefully] – Knight of Cups
I look forward to what Bale has in store next as he enters a new decade in his life. Which film would earn him his second Oscar? Whatever it is, I know I’ll continue to follow his cinematic career and may it be as fascinating (if not more) as it’s been in the past two decades.

Here’s to you, Mr. Bale. Happy Birthday!!

 


Hope you enjoyed Christian Bale’s pictorial tribute. What’s YOUR favorite roles from this fine actor?

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37 thoughts on “Happy 41st Birthday Christian Bale! Pictorial birthday tribute to the Welsh thespian

  1. It’s amazing how his career has evolved, I saw Empire of Sun way back when I was in grade school and never thought I’d see the same actor still working and being successful at it in the business today. Most child actors tends to disappeared once they became an adult, whatever happen to Jake Loyd anyway? LOL!

    It’s definitely because of his talents and determination that keeps him afloat for such a long time and he’s still very young in that business! It’s funny because I think in role in American Psycho and Shaft that landed him the Bruce Wayne/Batman role. In Psycho he’s a rich playboy maniac and in Shaft he’s a racist rich playboy. They’re basically the evil versions of Bruce Wayne, ha ha.

    You should check out The Machinist, I liked the “twist” of the film, it’s not anything shocking but it made sense. I also enjoy his performance in Rescue Dawn. He had to lose a lot of weight for those films and then gain back for the two Batman films.

    1. Yeah I know, he definitely is one of the rare child actors who *made it* in Hollywood without becoming totally messed up. I think Leo DiCaprio is another example, no wonder they seem to be competing for some roles as they’re also the same age. I still like Bale more though as he doesn’t date supermodels like Leo does.

      I haven’t seen him in Shaft, is that worth seeing? I might check it out just to see him playing evil Bruce Wayne, he..he..

      I definitely will try to see The Machinist this year yet, been putting it off for too long.

      1. I can’t knock Leo for dating women much younger than him since I also tend to date younger women myself, they’re not supermodels like Leo’s dates but they’re way younger than me. LOL. But yeah these two seems to be the only child actors who’ve made it big in the business. Kurt Russell sort of had the same career path but he never had big hit films like Leo and Bale.

        Oh yeah I thought SHAFT was a lot of fun, I can lend you the BD if you want to see it. The actor who stole the show though was Jeffrey Wright, he’s the other villain in the film.

        I just couldn’t believe how much Bale had transform his physical appearance in The Machinist, he looked like a skeleton in the movie.

    1. Yeah he seems more mature than 41, though I think he still looks great and can pass for roles made for 30-year-olds. Glad you like him too Keith, he’s one of the best actors working today!

  2. I can’t believe he’s 41. Wow, I’m getting old. The dude is awesome. I wanna see him do comedies. I got a good laugh at him singing the themes song to Powerpuff Girls.

    1. Ahah well you only think you’re getting old Steven! Yes the dude is awesome, wish he’d loosen up a bit and do a straight comedy. Who knows maybe when he’s older he might not be as intense.

  3. jackdeth72

    Hi, Ruth:

    An extremely talented actor!

    First caught Mr. Bale in Branagh’s ‘Henry V’. Great presence and delivery Even as a kid.. Always thought his less popular roles revealed his best work. Like ‘Equilibrium’, ‘Reign of Fire’ and ‘Rescue Dawn’ and ‘Laurel Canyon’. A chameleon who’s willing to alter his appearance to properly fulfill a role.

    Would have preferred that Chris Nolan contracted Kevin Conway to supply the voices of Bruce Wayne and Batman in ‘The Dark Knight’ franchise.

    1. I was going to say sort of the same thing, Jack…I usually like him best in his less popular movies, the exception being DARK KNIGHT, because I do like him as Batman. As you say, his dedication to his roles is impressive (and actually probably good for his health).

    2. Hi Kevin & Paula! Yeah I think Bale is great in the less popular roles, too. Laurel Canyon wasn’t a great movie but it was worth seeing just for Bale. Same w/ Equilibrium and Reign of Fire. I do like him as Batman too and he’s definitely my fave Batman now, we’ll see how Ben Affleck would stack up in that role.

    1. Ahah YUM is right 😉 yes I do like both Metroland n Swing Kids, i watched both for Bale actually. Have u seen Laurel Canyon? It’s not great but worth seeing just for him n he has sexy scenes with two of his female costars in it.

        1. Oh yeah I’d avoid Fifty Shades too, ugh so sexist, mysogynistic piece of trash that I wish didn’t get made, but of course it’ll make a gazillion dollars. Lauren Canyon is actually interesting and let me just say that one of the scenes involved Bale being tempted by Natascha McElhorne. Oh my, it took my breath away.

  4. Pingback: January 2015 Recap + Pick of Movie of the Month |

    1. He..he.. well I have to give credit where it’s due 😉 Yes he is an amazing actor indeed, I mean just the photos here alone is a testament to his versatility.

  5. What a great tribute Ruth!!

    I haven’t seen all his movies yet but what I have seen makes him one of my favorite actors.

    Happy birthday mr Bale 🙂

  6. We shall see if Christian Bale wins a 2nd Oscar….one never knows. Both of his nominations are well deserved though and, most of all, his first win. It was him and Jennifer Lawrence that made American Hustle click for me.
    I recently watched The Machinist, and I will be putting it in my monthly recap either today or tomorrow. I can’t say I consider it one of his best films, but certainly one of his most accomplished performances. I wasn’t much of a follower until he peaked in fame with his famous turn in the latest Batman trilogy. I believe he was unfairly upstaged by the villains in each of the films, but it was his very particular presentation of the troubled hero that initially won me over and made the new trilogy work.
    I will confess I have yet to see his talked-about turn in American Psycho. I do intend to right that wrong this year though.
    Thanks for sharing Ruth!

    1. I sure hope he’d win his 2nd and 3rd Oscar! I mean he’s only 41 so there’s still plenty of time for him to churn out great performances. I like his character the most in American Hustle, in fact he gave it heart and his scenes w/ Renner were the highlights.

      I don’t think Bale was upstaged in the first Batman film, but yeah, the two villains in TDK and TDKR are particularly strong and memorable. American Psycho is not usually the kind of film I’d watch but years ago I was curious to see it and so I rented it from a video store (it still existed at the time, ahah) and got the unrated version! Let’s just say I don’t think I’d watch it again but it was worth it just to see his performance.

  7. Aww, great actor to include for a happy birthday post! I always think of Bale as a chameleon. I wish I had seen more of his stuff . . . I’ve always been a fan of his. I think it’s a little crazy that he didn’t even get nominated until more recently. I was glad he finally won for The Fighter, although I think he deserved to be nominated in more than just his recent work.

    1. Yeah I think Bale could’ve easily won long before The Fighter. I haven’t seen him in The Machinist but that sounds like a tremendous performance.

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