Christian Bale is no stranger to making physical transformations. After gaining weight and muscle for roles such as The Dark Knight and American Hustle, Bale needed to make a different kind of physical change for his racing drama Ford v Ferrari. This time, I needed to lose a lot of weight to fit in the small race cars used in the movie.
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When Ford v Ferrari began filming, Bale had stopped filming his movie Vice, where he gained more than 40 pounds to become former Vice President Dick Cheney. In Ford v Ferrari, Bale plays British driver Ken Miles, a man who is accustomed to fit into the confined spaces of high-speed racing cars.
“I had to get in the car,” Bale told Variety at the Ford v Ferrari premiere. “I could not bloody – these things are not made for comfort, these cars. They’re tight. So, I couldn’t bloody get in them. That would have been a whole different film. These cars are not made for large men.”
Here’s a look at Bale’s change in the two films:
Bale earned an Academy Award nomination for his role in Vice, but with only a few months between finishing filming that movie and Ford v Ferrari, Bale took some drastic steps to make sure he could do it. Men’s Journal spoke with Matt Damon, co-star of Bale, earlier this year, and the actor revealed how Bale did things.
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“[Christian] was coming off Vice, and from the time we decided to do the movie to the time we started shooting, he dropped 70 pounds,” Damon told Men’s Journal. “The first day on the set, I asked him: ‘How did you do that?’ I’ve lost weight and gained weight for parts, and there are lots of theories on how to do it. And he just looked at me and said: ‘I didn’t eat.’ That guy is cut from a different cloth. He has a monk-like discipline that’s just really impressive to see.”
At the premiere of Ford v Ferrari, Bale talked a little more about what it took to get into the character of the movie: “He was an easy character to channel the intensity, but also a lot of fun,” Bale said. “He was a boy who really enjoyed his life. I loved what I was doing. That’s why he was so passionate and despised bureaucrats that they would come and ruin all the fun, basically. He just thought there was no place for them in the races. “