Christian Bale is an actor who adores physically transforming himself for roles, as evidenced by his severe weight loss for The Machinist (and his Oscar-winning turn in The Fighter), his portliness in American Hustle, and his ripped physique in the Dark Knight trilogy.
He’s never been quite as unrecognizable, however, as he is as former Vice President Dick Cheney in the first full-length trailer for Vice, the upcoming film from writer-director Adam McKay (The Big Short).
There’s a good shot of the significant gut that Bale grew for his turn as Cheney, the one-time secretary of defense and White House chief of staff who was selected by George W. Bush (Sam Rockwell) to be his running mate in 2000. More striking than his spot-on look as Cheney, however, is the halting cadence and gruff tenor of his voice, as well as the way he speaks a bit out of the corner of his mouth. Those mannerisms are so eerily accurate, one immediately suspects Bale is going to be in the thick of the awards conversation thanks to his latest turn.
The chat that led to Cheney and Bush’s union is the framing device for the above clip and features the latter telling the former “You’re my vice!” — a loaded comment that will clearly be the basis for McKay’s film. Featuring Amy Adams as Lynne Cheney, Vice appears to be a star-studded affair that’ll pull back the curtain on the Cheney machinations that helped guide Bush’s two terms in office — and, in the process, change the world.
Co-starring Steve Carell as Donald Rumsfeld, Alison Pill as Mary Cheney, Lily Rabe as Liz Cheney, and Tyler Perry as Colin Powell, Vice will arrive in theaters on Dec. 21.