After Christian Bale gained 45 pounds to play Dick Cheney in Vice, the Hollywood actor on Tuesday talked dropping big weight to play a lean race car driver opposite Matt Damon in James Mangold’s Ford v. Ferrari.
“Wouldn’t have been the same thing if I’d have been a 240-pound Ken Miles, barely, barely getting into those cars,” Bale said of playing a 1960s racing legend in Fox’s high-speed drama, set to hit theaters Nov. 15.
“These cars are not made for large men, at all, for comfort whatsoever,” Bale added during a Toronto Film Festival press conference for Mangold’s drama about the Ford Motor Co.’s efforts to beat Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966.
Bale and Damon play race car pros Ken Miles and Carroll Shelby, respectively, in the Chernin Entertainment Turnpike Films project that took years to greenlight in a Hollywood concerned with production costs for original dramas.
“In the environment right now, no one is going to make an original movie. The cost of making these movies is high, and I had to figure out a way to get it under $100 million. No one in the past five or six years has figured out how to do that,” Mangold told the Toronto media.
Ford v. Ferrari is based on the true story of American car designer Shelby and British driver Miles.
Bale recalled in one scene punching Damon’s character in the face. “I think he (Damon) quite enjoys getting punched. He kept asking to do it,” he said.
Mangold’s film will have an international premiere in Toronto with twin showings Monday night at Roy Thomson Hall and The Elgin Theatre, after bowing at Telluride.