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Christian Bale


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Birth Name

Christian Charles Philip Bale

Date of Birth (Location)

30th January, 1974. Pembrokeshire, Wales, United Kingdom.


Unlike many, Christian Bale successfully made the transition from child performer to adult actor with a minimum of difficulty and was poised to become one of the breakout stars in the new millennium.

The Welsh-born Bale started performing at age nine when he landed work in British television commercials. The following year, he acted on stage in alongside Rowan Atkinson in the comedy "The Nerd". Additional commercials and a part as a spoiled brat on the British series "The Heart of the Country" followed before he made his American TV debut as Alexis, the hemophiliac heir to the Russian throne, in the NBC miniseries "Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna" (1986), starring Amy Irving. Ironically, it was Irving's then-husband, director Steven Spielberg, who would offer the young thespian his breakthrough role in "Empire of the Sun" (1987). Winning the lead in this screen version of J G Ballard's autobiographical novel over some 4,000 other hopefuls, Bale delivered one of the best juvenile performances ever captured on film. As Jim, a pampered upper-class British adolescent living in China, he was required to shoulder the bulk of the film. Bale's character ages and undergoes enormous shifts of circumstances after becoming separated from his parents--moving from his privileged world to a life in an internment camp where he finds surrogate parents. His was the performance that anchored the film and critics and audiences paid close attention to his extraordinary work.

Bale continued to stretch as an actor and eschewing the usual teenager roles. He undertook Shakespeare playing the boy who assists Falstaff (Robbie Coltrane) in Kenneth Branagh's stirring "Henry V" (1989) before playing Jim Hawkins to Charleton Heston's Long John Silver in the TNT movie "Treasure Island" (1990). After a short hiatus, the tall, extremely handsome Bale returned to features as the pro-labor leader of a band of urchins hawking newspapers in the ill-fated Disney musical "Newsies" (1992). Again, he was asked to carry much of the film and he acquitted himself nicely, proving to have a pleasant if unremarkable singing voice and capable of executing intricate dance steps. The latter came in handy for "Swing Kids" (1993), an ambitious and slightly overdone period drama about a group of German youths enamored of American big band music. Bale essayed the most intriguing of the group--a character who denounced his friends and embraces Nazism. While the overall film proved problematic, he delivered a compelling and nuanced performance.

It took his turn as the wealthy, spirited Laurie, the neighbor to the March sisters, in Gillian Armstrong's version of "Little Women" (1994) for audiences to fully embrace him. Offering a charismatic and energetic male presence to the proceedings, he found himself wearing the label of "heartthrob".

As the 90s wound down, Bale continued to offer fascinating characterizations. Attempting not to repeat himself, he walked off with the acting honors as a mentally disabled youth in Christopher Hampton's uneven adaptation of Joseph Conrad's "The Secret Agent" (1996). That same year he also appeared as a young swain in Jane Campion's " Portrait of a Lady".Undertaking his first real "adult" role, he starred as a married man questioning his life choices in the tart "Metroland" (1997; released in the USA in 1999. Shot over 27 days, "Metroland" offered the actor one of his richest roles, as he was required to portray the character at three stages in his life. That Bale believable sketched an immature schoolboy, a virginal twentysomething bohemian and a staid suburbanite is a tribute to his gifts. He managed a similar feat in Todd Haynes' problematic "Velvet Goldmine" (1998) as well, doing double duty as a mature reporter investigating the mystery surrounding the disappearance of a glam-rock star and playing his youthful incarnation who emulated said singer. Following another go at the Bard as the stalwart Demetrius in "William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream", he offered another strong performance as a slightly disabled youth in the fairy tale-like "All the Little Animals" (both 1999). While the film proved uneven, Bale utilized his body and voice to inhabit his character and held his own in scenes with the powerful John Hurt and Daniel Benzali.

He next undertook what promised to be his most challenging role, that of Wall Street stockbroker turned serial killer Patrick Bateman in the film version of "American Psycho" (2000). This adaptation of a book which that was both praised and reviled sparked several controversies before a frame of film was exposed. Director Mary Harron had settled on Bale for the lead but Lion's Gate, the production company funding the film, had wanted more well-known names attached to the project. At one point actor Leonardo DiCaprio and director Oliver Stone were reported to be interested, but with a budget rising in excess of $40 million, Lion's Gate demurred. Eventually Harron returned to the project and hired Bale. Before filming began in Toronto, victims rights groups attempted to stop the city from issuing filming permits (the book allegedly served as an inspiration for a Canadian serial killer). From all reports, the role would be a demarcation in the actor's career: either he would be seen for what he is--a brilliant actor--or his career might never recover. It was a risk Bale was more than willing to take, as he put it, "Otherwise, what? I'm going to end up playing Laurie in 'Little Women' for the rest of my life?"

Perhaps as insurance, he opted to portray the other end of the spectrum when he accepted the role of Jesus in the NBC biblical drama "Mary, Mother of Jesus" (1999), co-starring Pernilla August. From there Bale moved on to supporting roles in a pair of more conventional, low-performing films, John Singelton's remake of "Shaft" (2000) with Samuel L. Jackson and "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" (2001) starring Nicolas Cage. He scored a modest box office hit when he starred as the dragon fighter Quinn in the fantasy adventure "Reign of Fire" (2002); later that year the uninspired sci-fi parable "Equilibrium," which was filmed two years earlier and reunited him with Emily Watson, was released with little fanfare and poor critical response.


1. Harsh Times (2006) (filming) .... Jim David

2. The New World (2005) (post-production) .... John Rolfe

3. Batman Begins (2005) (completed) .... Bruce Wayne/Batman

4. Maquinista, El (2004) .... Trevor Reznik

... aka The Machinist (International: English title) (USA)

5. Equilibrium (2002) .... John Preston

... aka Cubic (Europe: English title: video title)

6. Reign of Fire (2002) .... Quinn Abercromby

7. Laurel Canyon (2002) .... Sam

8. Captain Corelli's Mandolin (2001) .... Mandras

... aka Capitaine Corelli (France)

9. Shaft (2000) .... Walter Wade, Jr.

... aka Shaft - Noch Fragen? (Germany)

10. American Psycho (2000) .... Patrick Bateman

11. Mary, Mother of Jesus (1999) (TV) .... Jesus of Nazareth

12. A Midsummer Night's Dream (1999) .... Demetrius

... aka Sogno di una notte di mezza estate (Italy)

... aka William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream (USA: complete title)

13. All the Little Animals (1998) .... Bobby Platt

14. Velvet Goldmine (1998) .... Arthur Stuart

15. Metroland (1997) .... Chris

... aka Metroland (Spain)

16. The Portrait of a Lady (1996) .... Edward Rosier

17. The Secret Agent (1996) .... Stevie

... aka Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent

18. Pocahontas (1995) (voice) .... Thomas

19. Little Women (1994) .... Laurie

20. Prince of Jutland (1994) .... Amled

... aka Amled, prinsen af Jylland (Denmark)

... aka Prinsen af Jylland (Denmark: video title)

... aka Royal Deceit (USA)

21. Swing Kids (1993) .... Thomas Berger

22. Newsies (1992) .... Jack Kelly/Francis Sullivan

... aka Newsboys

23. A Murder of Quality (1991) (TV) .... Tim Perkins

24. Treasure Island (1990) (TV) .... Jim Hawkins

... aka Devil's Treasure (Australia: video title)

25. Henry V (1989) .... Falstaff's Boy

26. Empire of the Sun (1987) .... Jim

27. Mio min Mio (1987) .... Jum-Jum

... aka Mio in the Land of Faraway

... aka Mio, moy Mio (Soviet Union: Russian title)

... aka The Land of Faraway

28. "Heart of the Country" (1987) (mini) TV Series .... Ben Harris

29. Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna (1986) (TV) .... Alexei

More Pictures

(Hope they're not too big!)




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