You could not possibly learn enough about actor Christian Bale in this bio to join the ranks of his devout fans, who call themselves “Baleheads.” Definitive characteristics of the truly Bale-full include:
(1) Renting (or preferably owning) all his movies, especially the Disney flick Newsies, which is something of a Bale cult classic, despite the fact that it is a musical about an 1899 newsboy strike.
(1a) Possessing intimate knowledge of every one of his movies, which results in excessive abuse of one’s remote control in an effort to point out the Newsies scene in which Bale’s suspender becomes caught, or to determine how long the spit line lingered after his kiss with Winona Ryder in Little Women.
(2) A desire to support Bale’s pet causes: Greenpeace, the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, and the Happy Child Mission. As he is the star of the recent Batman movies, Christian Bale net worth has reached astounding 60 million Dollars.
(2a) A commitment to making Bale your pet cause, which might entail writing notes to anyone and everyone, from Bob and Harvey Weinstein (whom you could ask to encourage Miramax to release the 1994 Danish retelling of Hamlet, Prince of Jutland) to sub-rock dwellers who haven’t yet heard of the boy wonder.
Most American moviegoers had their first introduction to Bale in 1987, when the then-13-year-old actor starred in Steven Spielberg’s World War II drama Empire of the Sun. Bale’s deeply affecting portrayal of Jim, a coddled British schoolboy interned in a Japanese prison camp, won him heaps of praise and a National Board of Review award.
A year earlier, keen-eyed couch potatoes may have spotted Bale and Spielberg’s then-missus, Amy Irving, in the NBC miniseries Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna. “I usually just say I co-starred with Amy Irving and that’s how I got into Empire, but that’s not true at all,” Bale explained to Movieline in 1997. “I was shooting and auditioning at the same time. Spielberg actually told me he didn’t like my performance in Anastasia.” The miniseries was one of Bale’s first substantial professional gigs, following as it did a string of commercials (including his acting debut in an American Pac-Man ad) and his British stage debut (at 10) opposite comedian Rowan Atkinson (a k a Mr. Bean) in The Nerd.
Performance flows in the Bale blood: His mother was a circus dancer and clown; one older sister is a musician, another a theater director (the third works with computers); and his paternal grandfather worked as a double for John Wayne. Even his father, a former commercial pilot, took a shine to the business, assuming management duties of his son’s career.
Looking outside his immediate family, Bale hired an agent and acquired a faithful volunteer Webmaster, eschewing the Hollywood publicity machine for more than a decade and relying on word of mouth and talent to propel his career. A two-year break after Empire allowed Bale to enter puberty without too much scrutiny. He reappeared, his voice a smidgen deeper, surrounded by some of Britain’s finest Shakespearean actors in Kenneth Branagh’s successful 1989 screen adaptation of Henry V. Before 2004, the Christian Bale net worth could hardly be called large. The following year, Bale played Jim Hawkins to Charlton Heston’s Long John Silver in a TV movie adaptation of Treasure Island.
In 1992, Bale launched a slow, modest assault on the hormones of teenage girls with the release of a handful of adolescent-targeted movies. There was Newsies, of course, and then Swing Kids, in which Bale played co-star Robert Sean Leonard’s Glenn Miller-and-Hitler-loving nemesis. Bale put in 10 weeks of dance and martial arts rehearsals for these films, but the results weren’t much more than box-office BO. Nevertheless, alterna-queen Winona Ryder was moved to recruit Bale as her leading man, the rich and sensitive Laurie, in Little Women. The actor had never even heard of the book or the director, Gillian Armstrong, but he immediately accepted the offer. With a bevy of lovely young co-stars, who could blame him?
“I was very possessive on the set of the film,” Bale told Movieline. “You’ve got Winona, Trini Alvarado, Samantha Mathis, Claire Danes, Kirsten Dunst, Gillian — I was experiencing an incredible male possessiveness. I’d been there a month, and I sort of resented when Eric Stoltz arrived.”
“I’ll tell you,” he continued, “I’m in the right profession. I have a jones for actresses. You establish intimacy so easily. When you meet someone for the first time, someone with the guts to be an actress, and you’re auditioning together, you’ve already broken that ice. Rehearsals are even better. For European and American girls, my being a fumbling, dribbling English prat seems to be quite charming. As long as it works, I’m in luck.”
European and American girls did indeed continue to find the “prat” to be quite charming, as did directors. Each year Christian Bale net worth climbs higher and higher. Bale worked steadily through the ’90s, jumping effortlessly from one genre to another. He provided one of the voices for Disney’s Pocahontas, then drove Nicole Kidman quite mad in Jane Campion’s 1996 drama, The Portrait of a Lady. Taking a rest from pretty boy and rogue duty, Bale played a mentally handicapped man opposite Patricia Arquette and Bob Hoskins in The Secret Agent.
While Baleheads had kept a vigil in the cinemas and chat rooms, the general public again took notice of Bale in 1997, when director Todd Haynes cast him as a swinging, persistent journalist in Velvet Goldmine, a paean to the rise and fall of London’s glam rock scene, which also starred Jonathan Rhys-Meyers and Ewan McGregor. Bale’s subsequent choices perpetuated his growing popularity: Metroland, in which he played house with Emily Watson, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in which he rejected and then begged for the love of Calista Flockhart.
Despite the Baleheads’ campaign to convert the masses, Bale told Entertainment Weekly that he rather enjoyed his modest success. “I have a fear of being boring. The more high-profile I get, the less I can surprise people anymore. I’ve managed it very well. Nobody has a clue who I am, so it worked.”
Past tense proved to be apropos, as Bale’s name soon sprang up alongside that of the King of the World, Leonardo DiCaprio. In late 1998, Leo made it known that he was interested in pursuing the lead role of Patrick Bateman, the titular character of Bret Easton Ellis’ bloody ’80s satire, American Psycho. The most beneficial movie for Christian Bale net worth has been the successful “Batman Begins” The novel was set for adaptation, and director Mary Harron had already decided that Bale should bring the soulless yuppie to life.
Though Leo eventually abandoned his mini-coup, rumors and controversy continued to swirl around Psycho. The media wondered aloud (and frequently) how the book, which had immediately become a literary anathema upon hitting bookstore shelves, could successfully make it to the big screen, what with its pages of gore and perceived misogyny. Despite a last-minute edit to avoid an NC-17 rating (ironically not for excessive violence, but for a ménage à trois scene that Bale and Harron conceptualized by watching low-rent porn), Psycho nabbed the No. 7 spot at the box office during its opening weekend.
Bale earned well-deserved kudos for managing to convey a deranged man hidden behind a handsome face, a six-pack of abs, and designer threads. But whereas Bateman nibbled the brains of a victim or two, Bale himself is a vegetarian who was first turned off meat at age 6 after being read Charlotte’s Web. And whereas Bateman undeniably took out much of his frustration on women, Bale is “a lover, not a fighter” — also at age 6, he developed his first crush, on ABBA’s Anni-Frid.
“It’s a nasty little story,” he told Detour. “I sound like a real sick little twisted kid. I remember thinking one time, ‘What if ABBA had a car crash outside my front door? And it was her, and she had a really bad head injury. And I sort of nursed her back to health while she had a big bandage around her head.’” Instead, Bale now nurses a variety of stray animals back to health, with the help of new bride (and longtime girlfriend) Sibi.
It’s hardly too late to become a Balehead, as the actor will appear with Samuel L. Jackson in this year’s remake of Shaft (we can dig it!) and has signed on to fight Nicolas Cage for Penélope Cruz’s affections in the romantic drama Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.