Christian Bale bulks up again for new role

Notorious shape-shifting Batman star piles it on for David O Russell project.

Remember when Christian Bale lost five stone for his scarily gaunt part in ‘The Machinist’? Well the shape-shifting actor appears to be at it again, this time caught in a series of candid pics looking a little more than well fed.

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Chunky... Christian caught on his way to the set (Credit: Splash News)
‘The Dark Knight’ actor was captured on camera as he made his way to the set of ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ director David O. Russell’s as yet untitled new movie - which begins shooting in Boston, Massachusetts, today. Hiding his face with a baseball cap, the 39 year-old actor appeared to be wearing what can only be described as comfy clothes – baggy shorts and a t-shirt.

It’s not the first time the Welsh-born English actor has morphed himself for the sake of a movie role - becoming infamously emaciated to play Trevor Reznik in 2004 psychological thriller ‘The Machinist’.

Gaunt... Bale in 'The Machinist' (Credit: Rex)
After surviving on a strict diet of coffee and apples –Bale then immediately bulked up on pizza and ice cream for Christopher Nolan’s ‘Batman Begins’. Against doctors orders he then gained 60 lbs in just six weeks – only to then have Nolan reportedly ask him to drop another 20 lbs to get it just right. Can’t have the Caped Crusader looking porky now can we?

Christian Bale has previously worked with David O. Russell on 2010’s ‘The Fighter’, for which the star also lost 30 lbs, but gained an Oscar.  The director’s currently untitled project, previously called ‘American Bullsh*t’, co-stars ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ alumnus Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence alongside the bulky Bale, as well as Jeremy Renner and Amy Adams.

Spot the difference... De Niro as a young, then old LaMotta (Credit: Rex)
We reckon Christian Bale’s attitude to weight gain now trumps Robert De Niro’s efforts in 1980’s epic Scorsese drama ‘Raging Bull’. The legendary method actor embarked on a full-time training regime to transform his then slender self into cult Bronx boxer Jake LaMotta, before gaining an extra 60 lbs worth flab to portray the character in his twilight stand-up comedian years. De Niro achieved the effect by “eating his way around Italy”.

What do you reckon to Bale’s new bulk? Dedication to the cause, or method acting madness? Tell us in the comments below.