Bale has reportedly pulled out over fears of health concerns that come with fulfilling Enzo Ferrari’s physical appearance on the big screen. Known for his dramatic method acting, Bale taking on the iconic automaker’s role would have required him to gain a significant amount of weight in a very short time frame.
The film which focuses on the enigmatic and tumultuous life of the Ferrari founder was a 15-year project for Mann. Set in 1957 during the prancing horse’s most pivotal years, it was scheduled to begin shooting this Spring – a main factor that deterred Bale from committing to the role since it didn’t leave him enough time to achieve the necessary weight gain in a healthy manner, according to a Deadline report.
This is rarely surprising given Bale’s own Hollywood reputation for dramatically altering his physical appearance to take on various roles. It seems that in this particular case, the health gamble was too much for the 41-year-old British actor.
As an example, Bale played Trevor Reznik in 2004’s The Machinist – an emaciated man who suffered from insomnia. Bale dropped 27kg for the role.
Shortly after, Bale bumped his body back up to a healthy 80kg to fulfil his commitment for Chirstopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. To do this, Bale binge-ate pizza, ice cream and as many as five meals in one session to bulk up rapidly. A move which made him a regular at the doctor’s.
After he hung up the bat suit, Bale moved onto dropping another 14kg for his role as Mark Wahlberg’s heroin-addicted brother in The Fighter. He won an Oscar for his efforts as Best Supporting Actor.
Finally, he moved onto American Hustle as the overweight con artist, Irving Rosenfeld. Rather than donning a fat suit like most actors would, Bale opted to gain the necessary weight himself which made him almost unrecognisable.
Packing on 20kg, Bale told People Magazine that, “I ate lots of doughnuts, a whole lot of cheeseburgers and whatever I could get my hands on. I literally ate anything that came my way. I was about 185 and went up to 228. I’m still working it off.”
Given that ‘yo-yo’ dieting is such a dangerous practice on the body, fans of the Ferrari film are not blaming him for pulling out. The diet is known to cause severe health effects such as digestive problems, heart problems, depressive disorders and even a shortened life expectancy.
No actor has been confirmed to replace Bale’s role as the famed automaker yet.