Christian Bale may be lousy with voices, but you have to give the actor credit for making up for that failure with his ability to reinvent his body. If Robert DeNiro remains the prototype for bulking up his musculature on a previously lean body and then fattening up that ripped physique with layers of flab for a movie role, then Bale certainly must be considered the poster boy for weight loss. There’s a line from “Fight Club” about a character who looks like Meryl Streep’s skeleton. Well, in “The Machinist” Christian Bale looks like Bruce Wayne’s skeleton.
The geographical source of Bale’s American accent in “American Psycho” remains impossible to locate on any map of the United States and his decision to contrast Bruce Wayne and Batman courtesy of a ridiculous growl may well be the answer to why the actor goes to such lengths to differentiate his characters through girth. One thing is for sure: Christian Bale is not Daniel Day-Lewis when it comes to endowing character through vocal rearrangement, but he does have a leg up on the three-time Best Actor Oscar winner when it comes to changing his appearance.
After proving he could lose massive amounts of weight for both “The Machinist” and “The Fighter” recent images appear to indicate that Bale has decided to travel down the path previously trod by actors ranging from DeNiro to Sally Field. Bale is scheduled to begin shooting David O. Russell’s follow-up to his follow-up to his immensely overrated “Silver Linings Playbook” as Melvin Weinberg, hero of the Abscam con that fizzled much more spectacularly than it should.
Weinberg was hardly the equivalent of Jake LaMotta in post-retirement/pre-prison years so don’t expect to see a lushly obese Bale. On the other hand, the Melvin Weinberg as a con artist in the employ of the greatest con artist factory in American-the Federal Bureau of Investigation-was not entirely removed from the murky and ambiguous region in which Batman conducts his neo-fascist judgment. What separates Melvin Weinberg from Bruce Wayne is less that both operated on the right side of the law within the confines of some constitutionally questionable practices than that Weinberg is most definitely less buff and ripped than Batman.
Hence, the soft, teddy-bear appearances in public of a Christian Bale prepared once again to put his body through some serious reinvention in pursuit of actorly verisimilitude. Let’s just hope he has much better luck in nailing the American accent this time around.