After being tapped by Steven Spielberg to star in his epic period film, "Empire of the Sun" (1987), actor Christian Bale found himself thrust into the spotlight, causing enough apprehension about being a celebrity that he considered quitting his career before it really began. But Bale later overcame any initial misgivings to emerge as a gifted young talent worthy of serious consideration, thanks to career-making performances in "Little Women" (1994), "Metroland" (1997) and "Velvet Goldmine" (1998). But it was his leading turn as the serial killer Patrick Batman in "American Psycho" (2000) that turned more than a few heads and underscored his prodigious talents, though he followed up with more subdued performances in "Laurel Canyon" (2002) and "Reign of Fire" (2002). Bale took a page from Robert De Niro's playbook and dropped some 60-odd pounds to play an emaciated factory worker for an acclaimed performance in "The Machinist" (2004). After packing on the pounds and returning to even greater shape, Bale was near perfectly cast as Bruce Wayne in director Christopher Nolan's reboot "Batman Begins" (2005) and its much-hailed sequel, "The Dark Knight" (2008). Though his public persona took a hit when a recording of him berating the cinematographer on the set of "Terminator Salvation" (2009) leaked, Bale emerged the following year with an Oscar-winning supporting turn as a drug-addicted former professional boxer in "The Fighter" (2010), which helped the actor elevate his already exceptional career.