It goes without saying that Christian Bale is far and away one of the best “shape shifters” in Hollywood. The lengths he goes for roles from both a mental and physical perspective are second to none. Unfortunately I predict he has health problems later in life. There’s just no way what he does is safe. I mean we’re talking gaining 40-50 lbs for roles and then losing 40-50 lbs for roles. And he does this so often that it’s practically expected. If you’ve seen him in The Machinist where he was emaciated to the point of literal danger compared to how bulky he is in the Batman films, it’s really quite astonishing.
But if there’s one movie where Bale is at his absolute peak from a body and looks perspective it’s the film that essentially brought him into the serious spotlight: American Psycho. His portrayal of Patrick Bateman led to his eventual role as Batman and essentially opened up his door to numerous roles in Hollywood. Part of achieving the ultimate character was achieving the ultimate physique which Bale clearly did. He was only at around 3% body fat for this role and it showed.
To this day it’s still my favorite role he’s ever played and I’m guessing he’s still grateful for having landed and playing it.