BRENTWOOD, LA—Every morning, a slowly ballooning Christian Bale snores gently beside an enormous pile of cabbages before being awoken by his personal trainer’s two-word command: “yip, yip.”
Bale’s eyes flash open, and the air fills with authentic yak fur, only some of which continues to adhere to Bale’s skin as he stretches his limbs, taking extra care with the two vestigial bull thighs he’s surgically attached to his abdomen to better match Appa’s six-legged body plan.
Once awake, Bale begins the feast. He’s selected an authentic, cabbage-centered diet to prepare for his role, a counterpoint to his Batman Begins regimen of Slim Jims and bat genitalia. Cabbage after cabbage slides down his monstrously swollen gullet, each adding crucial pounds to his once-emaciated frame.
But the famously devoted character actor isn’t stopping at a diet. “A true thespian understands that form must perfectly match being for the great illusion of the stage to be complete,” Bale remarked to press. “That’s what I’ve had both my buttocks elongated into a thick, paddle-like tail, just like Appa’s.”
The Academy loves a transformation.