Christian Bale: Frighteningly Skinny 'Fighter'

Christian Bale has proven that he's willing to throw himself entirely into each of his roles, whether it meant tanning and working out excessively to play Patrick Bateman in "American Psycho" or, most famously, nearly starving himself death for "The Machinist," in which he played an insomniac so tortured by guilt that he drops to a shocking 120 pounds. Shortly after his skeletal turn in that film, Bale added more than 100 pounds to his emaciated frame to play the decidedly more buff, titular hero of "Batman Begins."

Bale is back at it again, as witnessed in the trailer for the upcoming Mark Wahlberg Amy Adams film " the real-life story of "Irish" Mickey Ward, a boxer (played by Wahlberg) who rises from obscurity to win the light heavyweight championships. Bale plays Dickie Eklund, Ward's crack-addicted brother, who trains Ward until his drug problems send him to jail. You can't cast Bale as a crack addict without him diving way too deep into the role. In the trailer, he looks gaunt, unhealthy, fully tweaked, and apparently missing a few teeth; it's said he lost 30 pounds to play the role.

The film is directed by David O. Russell, most famous for the Gulf War drama, " Three Kings," which also featured Wahlberg. Russell's career has hit the skids since then -- his followup to "Kings," "I Heart Huckabees" which also featured Wahlberg, was a poorly reviewed flop, and his Jake Gyllenhaal Jessica Biel comedy, "Nailed," was eventually taken away from him and has yet to be released. The hope is that "The Fighter," seemingly more straightforward and less affected than Russell's other films, will put him back in Hollywood's good graces.


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