Christian Bale backed out of a role because he couldn’t get chubby in time

Christian Bale won last night at the Golden Globes. He won an award for his comedic role in The Big Short, and the film won Best Comedy too. Critics really love The Big Short and so does the Academy. Bale scored another Oscar nomination (his third overall) this year, even though he’s barely campaigned and (just my guess) he doesn’t really give a crap about it. I mean, he’s proud of the film and Bale is always good at showing up to any event where he’s nominated, but beyond that, his promotion has been pretty minimal.

Anyway, the big news about Christian Bale from this weekend did not involve Oscar hustles or temper tantrums. No, Christian had to back out of a role because he wasn’t going to have time to gain weight to play the part. Bale is famous for gaining and losing weight for his film roles, and I have to admit… chubby Bale is the best Bale. I’ve never enjoyed him more than when he had a big gut for American Hustle. So I’m sad that chubby Bale won’t be returning any time soon.

Christian Bale is reluctantly getting out of the driver’s seat on Michael Mann’s long-gestating Enzo Ferrari. The shape-shifting actor is stepping aside after health concerns over the weight gain necessary to play the iconic carmaker. Bale, who has yo-yo’d throughout his career between extreme weight loss and gain – compare his emaciated turn in The Machinist to his button-busting fatso in American Hustle – appears to have finally bitten off more than even he could chew. The start date of spring this year was simply too soon for the Big Short actor to get that out of shape again. Mann is moving fast to re-cast the plum role and is currently speaking to some heavyweight actors.

While Bale’s exit is a blow, the project remains very much on track, with Paramount distributing in most territories…The story takes place in one pivotal year, 1957. It is the highly personal account of Ferrari faced with a convergence of dilemmas at a critical time. The script by Troy Kennedy-Martin (The Italian Job and Edge Of Darkness) was revised by David Rayfiel (The Firm) and Mann. It’s based on the Brock Yates book Enzo Ferrari, The Man, The Cars, The Races.

[From Deadline]

What chubby actor will they go to now? Seth Rogen? Not Jonah Hill, I’m assuming. Perhaps Michael Mann will just hire someone else with a good body and ask them to eat donuts and pasta for three months straight. Ah, the actor’s life. Why didn’t Bale want to gain weight?! I wish CB would ask me to gain weight for work.

Photos courtesy of Getty.

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26 Responses to “Christian Bale backed out of a role because he couldn’t get chubby in time”

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  1. GlimmerBunny says:

    He’s so handsome and a great actor but I truly think this is the best choice for him. It can’t be healthy to gain and lose large amounts of weight as often as he does.

  2. Naya says:

    Wait. So people actually think that he pulled out because of the weight issue? Really guys? Enzo Ferrari was never a massive guy, nobody would bat an eyelid if Christian Bale didnt even gain any weight for the role. Unless I’m missing something, Enzos weight isnt even part of the storyline. And which idiot producer in his right mind would risk losing Christian Bale with not alternative lined up over an inconsequential weight gain concern? What are rewrites and CGI for, if not to keep Christian Bale in your movie? As for Christian; he just played Moses in Exodus so imma say this man isnt super concerned about authentic characterisation.

    Nope, this is just good-ol “creative differences” span for the media.

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      I don’t get it either. Ferrari was a bigger guy later in life but by no means huge. I have no idea what time span the film covers but it doesn’t seem like such a big deal if he just didn’t gain any weight. They could just give him a cushion under a suit and be done with it. A fat suit at most. Although the cushion really seems more than enough.

    • lisa2 says:

      I tend to agree with your assessment.. In the above picture he looks to have gained some weight. I don’t like that cut of that suit.. it makes him look hippy.

      but yes the whole thing about not gaining weight seems to be an easy to divert from something else. Beside they could use padding. I don’t picture Christian as Enzo.

    • lucy2 says:

      Exactly. When I saw this story I looked for photos of Ferrari, and couldn’t figure out why weight gain would be necessary – it can’t be central to the story, can it? And even if it were, couldn’t they bulk him up with padding?
      Definitely something else going on and this is a lame excuse from the production.

  3. Mia4s says:

    Not sure I buy the weight thing but if true I’m glad he’s not doing it and hope he never does again. It’s hard on the heart and health and he has two young children.

    Likely it’s creative differences and after Mann’s last few movies? Team Bale!

    His next movie to be released is The Promise, a romantic drama co-starring Oscar Isaac! I need this movie in my life now!!

  4. Crumpet says:

    I have to admit something: I have only ever seen Christian act in Empire of the Sun. It really is shameful how underexposed to the movie theater I am. I am going to look him up on Netflix.

    • Tiny Martian says:

      You are in for a real treat, Crumpet. Just wait til you see all that the boy from the Empire of the Sun can do now!

    • lucy2 says:

      There’s not many of his films available for streaming, but hopefully you can find others at your library or through other means. He’s a fantastic actor.

  5. Ayra. says:

    His weight gain / lose has always scared me. I’m a huge fan of his acting. He goes all the way for a role, but at the same time..won’t it mess with his health in the future?

  6. Marianne says:

    Honestly, its better that he didn’t. His body doesnt need the stress of constantly gaining and losing weight.

  7. CornyBlue says:

    I hope this trend of gaining and losing weight stops. I once read MAtt Bomer ate 400 calories a day for 3 months. That is horrid.

  8. HollyG says:

    I read the headline as “couldn’t get A chubby in time” and wondered what kind of movie Bale was auditioning for. Not one that I would want to see Jonah Hill in.

  9. LA says:

    Wow. So not a problem that I can relate to lol

  10. Snowflake says:

    Yeah, that sounds weird. Why couldn’t they use padding?

  11. Kelly says:

    To paraphrase Laurence Olivier, “Why not try acting instead?”

    I feel like the weight loss/gain for parts is pretty self-indulgent and falls under the “courage” some actors have.

    It irks me when I hear how brave an actor was for a performance.

    Mmm, firefighters are brave. Police are brave. Military men and women are brave. Some inner teachers are brave.

    Sorry to be so soapbox so early.

  12. mee says:

    The Big Short was so well done and Christian played his role beautifully as always He’s such an amazing actor; he inhabits his roles so fully and he’s completely different from one role to the next. I don’t have anything to say about the weight story but just had to say the above. I’m glad Bale won.

    • Happy21 says:

      I think I can honestly say that Christian Bale is my fave actor. It used to be Al Pacino but he has done barely anything over the last few years Bale has taken his place.

      Bale just amazes me every time he is on screen. I watched The Fighter last night to just get some of the ‘Christian Bale Exeperience’ and even though I’ve seen it before a couple of times, I was riveted by his performance.

      • lucy2 says:

        The Fighter is definitely one of his best, especially when you consider he did that between Batmans, I think.

    • Farhi says:

      I love Bale as well. He is so intense, it is amazing to watch,

  13. Patricia says:

    Well as a huge huge fan of his work and professionalism (and his sexiness) I have to point out that there was really only one time that the news about him involved a temper tantrum. And people that work with him were falling all over themselves to make it known that that incident was NOT how he really is to work with, it was just a bad incident that was exploited for headlines.

    He’s so talented. I’m glad he’s thinking of his health first.

  14. Farhi says:

    I don’t like the trend of actors losing/ gaining extreme amounts of weight. I think it only became a thing 20 or so years ago.
    I can suspend the disbelief, I don’t need an actor look exactly like the person they are playing.
    Plus, with extra weight situations there is padding and clothing that can be used to help the look.

    In this case though, I am not necessarily buying the weight issue story. It was probably something else. They could work around the weight if they had to.