There are few actors who transform so completely with every role like Christian Bale. Take, for example, the comb-over and belly paunch he rocks as the star of David O. Russell's newest film, American Hustle; his '70s style is a far cry from the skinny, crack-addicted Dicky Ecklund in the last film he and Russell made together, The Fighter. In American Hustle, Bale plays Irving Rosenfeld, a con man who, along with his partner and mistress, Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) are recruited by FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper), to become part of a scam that will inplicate and involve politicians and mafiosi, including Camden mayor Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner). And then, of course, there's Irving's wife, Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence), who threatens to unravel the whole operation.
We sat down with the Oscar-winning actor to talk about his inspiration for the character, why Irving is actually "a romantic", and the important role that comb-over plays in Irving's cons.
You can watch the full interview, above, and catch American Hustle in theaters now.
The Hollywood actor brings the real-life story of former world champion 'Irish' Mickey Ward to the big screen in the new picture, which has won rave reviews and a number of high profile awards nominations.
The film reveals the relationship between Ward and his boxer step-brother Dicky Ecklund, and also focuses on their family, including seven sisters, who are portrayed as rude and foul-mouthed and are even seen scrapping with Amy Adams' onscreen character.
However, director David O. Russell admits the real-life female siblings are unimpressed with their representation, and one even left a screening of the film.
He tells the New York Daily News, "One sister walked out when we were screening it for them. I talked to the family about it, and they said 'One out of seven ain't bad.'"