A look back at Christian Bale's most dramatic transformations

Christian Bale is almost unrecognizable in the new movie "Vice." In order to emulate former vice president Dick Cheney, the 44-year-old actor, who normally weighs around 185, tipped the scales at 225 and donned a bald cap. 

“I've just been eating a lot of pies." Bale joked in a Variety interview

This isn’t the first time the Welsh actor has changed his appearance for a role, in fact it has become one of his signature moves. 

See AlsoAmy Adams opens up about yelling at Christian Bale

In 2000, Bale took on the role of Patrick Bateman in "American Psycho." In order to play the jacked up murderer he worked out like crazy. "Working out took over my life," he told The Guardian. "I became fascinated with talking about the body, and diet, and the gym. It made me very judgmental of other people's bodies as well."

In 2004, he abandoned his healthy lifestyle and dropped over 60 pounds by basically starving himself. The weight loss made his eyes pop and ribs jut out for the shocking skeleton-like appearance needed to portray an unstable, insomniac factory worker in "The Machinist."  

Less than a year later though, he packed on 30 pounds of muscle for "Batman Begins." The transformation with so immediate that he even made himself sick. His "Machinist" co-star Michael Ironside talked about the shocking change to Reddit AMA, “He walked in and looked like a linebacker.”

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Christian Bale's transformations
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Christian Bale's transformations
Actor Christian Bale attends a special screening of "Hostiles" at Metrograph on Monday, Dec. 18, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Christian Bale arrives at the U.S. premiere of "The Promise" at the TCL Chinese Theatre on Wednesday, April 12, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Emporio Armani celebrates the April issue of 'Flaunt' magazine, with 'American Psycho' star Christian Bale on the cover. 4/12/00 Photo shows: Christian Bale and wife Photo by Evan Agostini/ImageDirect
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 16: Actor Christian Bale poses with his award for Best Performance by an Actress In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture for 'The Fighter' in the press room at the 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at The Beverly Hilton hotel on January 16, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - MARCH 4: Actor Christian Bale arrives at the premiere of 'Laurel Canyon' at the Harmony Theater on March 4, 2003 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Christian Bale during 2004 Sundance Film Festival - 'The Machinist' Premiere at Eccles in Park City, Utah, United States. (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)
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Though there were many other roles that required his body to change, fans were most shocked when Bale gained over 40 pounds to play the slimy con-artist David O. Russell in "American Hustle." This was the first time Bale admitted that the dramatic changes may not be the best for his health.

Which is why, when he was approached to play Cheney he consulted doctors. "I had never before gone to a doctor or a nutritionist about gaining or losing weight for my roles," Bale said on "CBS This Morning." "But eventually that caught up with me. So, finally...I decided that maybe somebody knows better than I do..."

He completed the look by shaving his head and bleaching his eyebrows. "It's helpful not to look like yourself," he explained to the Guardian. "If I look in the mirror and go, 'Ah, that doesn't look like me'—that's helpful."

Check out his most dramatic transformations above.

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