Christian Bale has a reputation for gaining and losing weight for the sake of the character he’s inhabiting. But his constant weight fluctuations sometimes worried those who knew the actor personally.
This included the actor’s stepmom, who hoped Bale wouldn’t indulge in such drastic physical changes ever again.
Gloria Steinem was rumored to have a hand in Christian Bale getting ‘American Psycho’
Christian Bale | Matthias Nareyek/Getty Images
Christian Bale’s stepmom, Gloria Steinem, is a successful journalist and a longtime supporter of the feminist movement. She’d later go on to marry Bale’s father, David Bale, a development that the actor didn’t see coming. Still, he was happy that his father finally found a partner to spend his life with.
“I actually haven’t seen Gloria or my dad since they got married because I’ve been away since May. Talking of unexpected things, I don’t think my father thought that anything like this would happen to him at this point in his life. My wife and I will be spending a few weeks with the two of them soon, and it’ll be fantastic because I’ve been accustomed to my father always being alone,” Bale once said on Interview.
The rumor has it that Steinem may have had an unintended influence on Bale’s career. American Psycho co-writer Guinevere Turner once recalled an unsubstantiated myth that Steinem helped dissuade Leonardo DiCaprio from starring in the film.
“My friend, who had just spoken to Gloria Steinem, said that Gloria Steinem took Leonardo DiCaprio to a Yankees game,” Turner once said according to IndieWire. “I believe, she said, ‘Please don’t do this movie. Coming off of Titanic, there is an entire planet full of 13-year-old girls waiting to see what you do next, and this is going to be a movie that has horrible violence toward women.’ Soon after that, Leo dropped out, so who knows what really happened?”
Gloria Steinem was concerned about Christian Bale’s body transformations for roles
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Bale is known for the drastic measures he sometimes takes to embody film roles. For instance, he lost several pounds for The Machinist. Then quickly gained a substantial amount of muscle mass for Batman Begins not too long after. But the actor was adamant that he never meant for his body transformations to be under the spotlight the way they have been.
“I never planned on becoming any kind of gimmick guy that was like ‘Hey you know what? I’ll lose weight, I’ll put on weight, I’ll lose weight and I’ll put it on again’. It just happened in a few consecutive movies that was necessary and I just loved the project so much that I said; ‘Yeah fine I’ll go for it,’” Bale once said in an interview with Black Film.
However, his transformations have caused concern for his loved ones in the past. Gloria Steinem herself once voiced her worries about the physical commitment Bale had for his craft.
“I was concerned. That’s a huge strain on the heart, perhaps even more when re-gaining than when losing. It’s not mine to decide, but I hope and believe he won’t do it again,” she said according to Female First.
Christian Bale might be done changing and losing weight for films
Despite Steinem’s concerns, Bale would continue to modify his weight depending on his roles after Batman Begins. But in recent years, the actor felt it might have been in his best interest to stop his extreme weight changes.
“I can’t keep doing it. I really can’t. My mortality is staring me in the face,” he said in a fairly recent interview with the Sunday Times.
Fellow actor Gary Oldman might have also played a bit part in convincing Bale to ease his weight gains and losses. While filming Vice, Bale phoned Oldman to ask him how much weight Oldman put on for his role as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour. When Oldman told Bale had put on no weight for the movie, the actor couldn’t believe it.
““I said, ‘Wait – none?’ I felt like such a tit, but I thought: I’m on this road; I’m going to keep going,” he added.
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