Over the past two months, we’ve seen a lot of pictures coming out from the set of The Fighter, the true story of boxer-turned-trainer-turned-crackhead Dicky Eklund. Christian Bale plays Eklund, and Mark Wahlberg costars as “Irish” Micky Ward, Eklund’s half-brother. Apparently, Bale and Wahlberg have become quite close on the set – close enough that Mark is really, really worried about Christian Bale’s weight loss. The photos coming out of the set are not flattering for Bale – he is playing a crackhead, after all. Bale is rather famous for his extreme “method” acting, and his habit of taking on extremes when preparing a character. His habit seems to be to take a role where he has to loose an extreme amount of weight, then he takes on a role where he has to really buff up. Mark Wahlberg is trying to convince Bale that he can’t keep doing this to his body:
“You gotta eat man. You’re messing with your health!” Mark Wahlberg made that desperate plea to co-star Christian Bale when Bale continued to starve himself after dropping more than 40 pounds for their film “The Fighter” sources say.
“Christian is a method actor,” a Hollywood insider told the Enquirer. “If a role calls for him to look like a drug dealer, or he has to play someone who hasn’t slept in a year, he’ll go without food to look the part.”
“But the danger comes after he takes off that weight, and then eats everything in sight to put it back on for the next role. That kind of yo-yo dieting can be deadly. Mark and Christian are friends, and Mark is concerned about him.”
[Christian] looks scarily skeletal for his role as a boxer-turned-trainer who’s nearly KO’s by drugs and crime in “The Fighter”.
“It’s crazy. Christian has been living on fruit and water. He’s emaciated,” the source said. “Besides eating practically nothing, he exercises a lot to keep the weight off.
Wahlberg – a health fanatic who worked himself into great shape to play a champion boxer in “The Fighter” – has begged Bale to stop dieting, said the source.
“Mark feels Christian is taking the whole ‘in character’ thing too far. He’s afraid Christian is getting Karen Carpenter-thin, and he’s worried about his heart,” the source divulged.
“He wants Christian to realize that acting is a job, and it’s not worth risking your health.”
[From the National Enquirer, print edition, August 31 2009]
I totally agree with Mark “Say Hello To Your Mutha” Wahlberg, if this report is true. I’m kind of beyond expressing my appreciation for Bale’s extreme physical transformations. If it was just once, for a role that was incredible and groundbreaking, and a story that needed to be told, perhaps I would appreciate it more. But Bale seems to consistently choose parts that allow him to engage in a eating disorder while calling it “art”. It’s not healthy, physically or psychologically. And Bale is doing real, permanent damage to his body – I don’t buy that Bale keeps loosing this weight with the help and approval of nutritionists and doctors. I think he’s doing it without any advice at all. I hope film producers are taking note, and reconsidering Bale for certain roles that they know will only feed his eating disorder.
Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg are shown on set in Boston on 7/27, 7/28 and 7/29/09. Credit: Fame Pictures