2006 was a busy year for Christian Bale. Firstly, he starred in Rescue Dawn, by Werner Herzog, then in The Prestige and I'm Not There (a reflection on the life of Bob Dylan), as well as the remake of 3:10 to Yuma, alongside Russell Crowe.
Christian Bale's next major career move came when he was cast as Batman in Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins, a new extension of the Batman franchise that was a move away from previous efforts by Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher. Coming straight from filming The Machinist, Bale was given six months to gain 46 kg. Bale later returned as Batman for the 2008 release of The Dark Knight. The film grossed over $400 million within 16 days of its release.
Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor
In 2004, Christian Bale starred as Trevor Reznik in The Machinist. For the role, he went on a crash diet consisting mainly of coffee and apples. By the time he finished filming the movie, he weighed only 55kg, achieving a shocking skeletal look for the insomniac paranoid character of Reznik.
Things were so booming in the first years of this century that it was easy for the media to divert the attention of Americans away from the dark underbelly of the financial world, creating big scandals out of nothing, spurring rampant buying sprees and making stars of non-entities like the Kardashians. Meanwhile in 2005, investment expert Michael Burry (Christian Bale) noticed that America's mortgage market was turning toxic. So he offered to "short" it, betting against this always-stable market by purchasing credit default swaps. The banks thought they would make a fortune from him, carrying on their dangerous practices. But other experts saw Burry's point, including the nerdy genius Mark Baum (Steve Carell), the shark-like Jared Vennett (Ryan Gosling) and a pair of newbies (Finn Wittrock and John Magaro) who tip off their reclusive mentor Ben Rickert (Brad Pitt). When the economy imploded, these men became billionaires.