Christian Bale is a shapeshifter on the cinema scene, noted for his extraordinary ability to radically modify his appearance for each part.

But he’s so excellent at it that occasionally people walk right by the Oscar-winning actor without noticing him, even when they’re about to sit down and interview him.

To be true, unless you’re closely following the Equilibrium star’s forthcoming schedule and who he’s set to play, it might be difficult to predict what he’ll look like.

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When he played a gaunt factory worker in the 2004 thriller The Machinist, he lost 60 pounds, bringing his weight down to a scary 120 pounds.

Bale then bulked up again for Batman Begins the following year, but had to resurrect his powerful superhero look and muscles for the sequels The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises in 2008 and 2012, respectively.

He also lost weight for Rescue Dawn (2006) and The Fighter (2010) before gaining it back in 2013 to play a fat con artist in American Hustle, weighing in at 228 pounds.

But the cinematic star demonstrated his passion to his craft while filming Vice in 2018, where he played former Vice President Dick Cheney.

He claimed that he had been shoveling pies down his gullet in order to reach his filming weight and look more like the politician who served under George W. Bush and was a prominent figure in US foreign policy.

In addition to substantially increasing his calorie intake to grow another 40 pounds, Bale shaved his head and dyed his brows to mimic Cheney’s iconic look.

Wigs and facial prosthetics also assisted, but he was not wearing them when Gayle King, host of the US breakfast show CBS Mornings, managed to entirely miss him backstage soon before interviewing him in 2017.

They were discussing his Wild West thriller Hostiles, but the presenters were more interested in his altered appearance for Vice, which made it difficult to identify Bale in a crowd.

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King admitted, “I’m embarrassed; I walked into the green room and ran right past you, saying, ‘Where’s Christian Bale?'” I thought he was here!

“And they said, ‘He is there, in the black and white check shirt’. And I had to go back like, ‘Oh, hi Christian Bale!'”

Bale found the humour in King’s blunder and confessed that he did ‘look a little bit different’ after gaining ‘quite a lot of weight’ and changing his hairdo.

The American Psycho actor laughed: “It wasn’t just for fun that I decided to shave my head, bleach my brows, and gain 40 pounds.” I was playing Mr Dick Cheney in a film that we finished last week.

“This [pointing to face] is a canvas, by which these superb makeup artists create Cheney.”

Bale claimed that he had resolved to raise his body mass ‘in a smart way’ for the part, after yo-yoing between small and enormous without any regard for his health over time.

He went on to say, “I’ve lost and gained weight, and I’ve never seen a nutritionist in my life.” It was the first time I said, “You know what, I’d better do this right.”

“In the past, when I was losing weight, I thought, ‘Ah! I’ll just smoke and drink whiskey and never eat anything.'” And it works!

“But I’m in my mid 40’s now and I thought just eating cream puffs non-stop, it’s not going to be good for my ticker.”

King then joked that she knew of a wonderful program called ‘Weight Watchers’ that she ‘strongly recommended’ to Bale.

Perhaps he accepted her offer, as he later dropped to 155 pounds while playing Ken Miles in Ford against Ferrari.