The Machinist, 2004
This role might be the most extreme—and dangerous—transformation that Bale ever did. To play an insomniac machine worker who is dealing with hallucinations, Bale lost 63 pounds and kept a very small diet to maintain the weight for filming. Bale spoke with The Guardian about the transformation.
“When you’re so skinny that you can hardly walk up a flight of stairs … you’re, like, this being of pure thought, Bale said. “It’s like you’ve abandoned your body. That’s the most Zen-like state I’ve ever been in my life. Two hours sleep, reading a book for 10 hours straight without stopping … unbelievable. You couldn’t rile me up. No rollercoaster of emotions. As soon as you start putting the food back in your stomach, the roller coaster comes back.”
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