Why did Christian Bale's career considerably slow down in the past years?

A couple of weeks ago I watched The Big Short and it was outstanding. But truth be told, I was surprised to see Bale star in a movie. It feels like the guy was everywhere in the 2000s but kind of faded out of mainstream movies at some point. According to IMDB he was in a movie or two per year since TDKR (which was a rather controversial film), most of which didn’t come close to the success or the scope of his 2000s projects. His acting career has regressed visibly, hasn’t it?

So what happened? Did TDKR hurt his career? Or his embarrassing rant? Or is Hollywood simply not interested in aging actors?

He was a big guy in the movie scene but I think that he has a reputation for being hard to work with which has hurt his ability to get roles. Remember his rant on the set of the Terminator? That was extremely painful to his film career. He’s apparently playing the part of Dick Cheney in an upcoming film, and considering Cheney’s personality it might suit him fine…

Thanks to Batman he probably has enough money to pick and choose. He has had a ton of interesting roles over the years, I could see him just wanting to live life for a bit waiting for an interesting role to come along.

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Every time I look at his IMDB I have a giggle at how he was in Mio min Mio, which is an 80’s film based on a Swedish children’s story, which I assume happened because of The Neverending Story. Also has Christopher Lee in it. It’s just so weird.

Anyway, the guy has basically done 1-2 movies a year throughout his entire career. It hasn’t slowed down or sped up, in so much as it just started and kept going at a constant rate. I assume he only works when he wants to, not because he needs to.

I assume that he was either determined to be too hard to work with, or he’s not as actively pursuing roles anymore due to finances. Or Hollywood simply burnt out on him.

From what I’ve gathered talking to actors over the years, the style of acting that Bale practices (i.e. method acting) is frowned upon and considered possibly dangerous.

Note: This is method acting as defined as connecting your own life experiences with your character’s effectively subtly blurring the line and not whatever nonsense Jared Leto does.

One of the big issues with method acting is the burn out, it’s pretty much emotional masochism. So it’s entirely possible that it’s not that Hollywood has burnt out on him but possibly he is burnt out on Hollywood.

I think the same thing happened with Danny Day Lewis.

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I watched him in the Netflix movie about the banking crisis. That was pretty good. But I think if an actor takes the super hero role they take all that comes with it. I mean… when you play a super hero it is sort of career death. I cant think of an actor who has got away from being called the person who played … man. Can anyone name an actor who has survived the superhero role?

Michael Keaton has done pretty well lately. No one thinks of him as Batman anymore, (or at least my generation)

I always just kinda got the impression hes done quite well for himself and can be a little more selective with his roles now. I base this on pure conjecture.

Michael Keaton will always be Beetlejuice to me, though you’re right he’s had an amazing recovery with Birdman and of course Spiderman, as for Christian Bale I kind of feel when Exodus: Gods and Kings tanked he’s been doing alot of smaller productions but he’s got a couple of interesting things coming up, namely Cheney.

I agree Keaton`s career has recovered but I do feel like after Batman returns he went from hottest property in Hollywood to just playing psychos. I think I saw an interview with him recently… It may have been that he was just tired of the industry.

He certainly has not totally disappeared from movies, just moved back out of the spot light.

Baled out.

JK he will prolly land another blockbuster in the near future. That or his method has burned him out, which I could see.

Maybe there’s a statute of limitation, you have to wait until an entirely new generation exists to reinvent yourself.

I don’t know the guy personally, but I imagine the Batman films (as well as the other stuff he did around that time) probably gave him the financial freedom to be far more picky in terms of what he does. I think his name has more than enough value to offset any perceived difficulty in working with the guy.

He’s got more than enough money to do as he pleases.
Like others said in this thread, he either just waits for interesting roles in his opinion, or he just takes it easy from now.

Honestly, I’m never totally sure that the rant had all that much of an impact on his career outside of the public perception of him. Unfortunately, that level aggression isn’t entirely uncommon on set, though he must have been particularly unpleasant for someone to choose to leak it.

More than anything, I think the shift in public perception is what made him less desirable to those who might fund his hiring, rather than the fact that the people who don’t get to make a lot of those decisions might get yelled at by him.

he’s holding out for that Newsies reboot

I don’t think his career has slowed down at all, he’s always starred in one or two films a year and he’s still doing that. It’s just that the last ones didn’t pan out that great. They were pretty interesting projects (Knight of Cups under Malick, The Promise with Oscar Isaac) just not great films, so they kind of came and went without much noise. There’s a smaller but interesting movie coming up (Hostiles) and I expect his Cheney biopic to be big even if only because of yet another insane physical transformation.

I actually think it’s kind of insane that he hasn’t slowed down more, considering his commitment to every role. it must be really taxing.

On the topic of his Terminator rant I seem to remember somebody who also works in film say that not only was Bale in the right, but he was actually sticking up for the entire crew. The guy who messed up was holding up everyone on set and wanted to get out of there and Bale was the one guy who spoke up about it finally.