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Oscar Nominee Trivia File: Christian Bale

"Extra" is highlighting the Best Supporting Actor nominees, and today we shine the spotlight on Christian Bale, who went from being a child actor working with Steven Spielberg, to becoming an accomplished performer, willing to take risks (and lose weight) for his art.

Find out more about this fascinating actor!

Oscar Nominee Trivia File: Christian Bale

London West End Debut

Bale made his professional debut opposite British comedian Rowan Atkinson on the London West End stage.

'Empire of the Sun'

A 13-year-old Bale auditioned with 4,000 other kids and won the coveted role of James Graham in Steven Spielberg's 1987 film. The young actor also met a 12-year-old Drew Barrymore on the set, who was visiting her godfather, Spielberg. Later they would both admit to having had a crush on each other.


This 1992 musical follows a week in the life of the exploited, child newspaper sellers, who in 1899 New York organize a strike against publishing giant Joseph Pulitzer (Robert Duvall). Yes, Christian sings and dances.

'Little Women'

Christian joined the female cast — including Winona Ryder and Claire Danes — for this 1994 adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's classic, playing next-door neighbor, Laurie.

'Titanic' Denied

Bale auditioned for the role of Jack Dawson in "Titanic" and almost got it, but people felt that it wouldn't be "fair" having two Brits playing two Americans. Leonardo DiCaprio won the part.

'Velvet Goldmine'

In this 1998 movie, Bale plays British newspaper reporter Arthur Stuart, who investigates the career of 1970s glam rock star Brian Slade (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), a singer whose early years were heavily influenced by eccentric American rock singer Kurt Wild (Ewan MacGregor).

'American Psycho'

In a twist of fate, Bale beat Leonardo DiCaprio to play the psychopath serial killer in this 2000 gem. The role firmly established Bale as a serious contender.

'Reign of Fire'

Bale goes for the post-apocalyptic in this 2002 film, battling a brood of fire-breathing dragons which had emerged from the earth, destroying everything in their paths.


In a fascist future where all forms of emotions are illegal, Bale plays a man who was once in charge of enforcing the law, but now rises to overthrow the system. And he kicks ass while doing it.


Christian is an avid fan of video games and cites Super Mario as one of his all-time favorites while growing up.

'The Machinist'

Bale showed just how dedicated he is to his craft by losing an amazing 63 pounds for his role as the emaciated insomniac Trevor Reznik in this 2004 film. For the most part, he only ate salads and apples, chewed gum, smoked cigarettes and drank nonfat lattes.

'Batman Begins'

In 2005, Bale landed his biggest role to date, playing millionaire Bruce Wayne aka Batman, in director Christopher Nolan's reboot.

'Rescue Dawn'

In this 2006 war drama, the actor portrays a U.S. fighter pilot who struggles to survive after being shot down on a mission over Laos during the Vietnam War.

'The Prestige'

Bale again teamed with director Christopher Nolan to star in this 2006 film. Bale and Hugh Jackman play magicians whose rivalry is exacerbated when one of them performs the ultimate illusion.

'3:10 to Yuma'

Christian tried his hand at the Western genre, starring with Russell Crowe is this tightly-wound 2007 remake.

'The Dark Knight'

Bale does the Batman thing again. Many feel Bale was overlooked by the Academy for his turn as the tortured superhero, with most of the attention going to Heath Ledger's The Joker.

'Terminator Salvation'

Bale takes on another iconic role, portraying John Conner in the fourth "Terminator" movie. This is also the film in which Bale lost his temper with the cinematographer, only to see his rant made public on the Internet.

'Public Enemies'

Bale stars as Special Agent Melvin Purvis, the man who finally took down John Dillinger (Johnny Depp) in the 1930s.

'The Fighter'

Finally, Bale gets his chance to shine as troubled addict Dickey Ward in "The Fighter," earning his first Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

What's Up Next?

Bale is suiting up again as Batman in "The Dark Knight Rising." He'll then go on to play famed Nikola Tesla, in a biopic of the turn-of-the-century electrical innovator.