Bale starred in the musical films Newsies and Swing Kids, the latter about teenagers who secretly listened to forbidden jazz during the rise of Nazi Germany.
In 1999, Bale contributed to an all-star cast, including Kevin Kline, Michelle Pfeiffer, Stanley Tucci, and Rupert Everett, portraying Demetrius in an updated version of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Its gross in the US was US,711,096, a fraction of its worldwide gross (US5,184,110).
It was reported that Bale had previously auditioned for the role of Robin in Batman Forever (1995), but lost out to Chris O'Donnell.
The attention the press and his schoolmates lavished upon him after this took a toll on Bale, and he contemplated giving up acting until Kenneth Branagh approached him and persuaded him to appear in Henry V in 1989.
His performance as Jim Graham in Empire of the Sun (1987) earned him widespread critical praise and the first ever "Best Performance by a Juvenile Actor" award from the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures.He is known for going to great lengths to portray characters in films, notably for the psychological thriller The Machinist (2004), where he lost 63 pounds (28.5 kg) to play the role of Trevor Reznik.Bale went on to receive greater commercial recognition for his starring role as Batman in Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012). Russell-directed biographical film The Fighter (2010), earned him critical acclaim and a number of awards, including the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.He has since gained further acclaim as well as subsequent Academy Award, Screen Actors Guild Award and Golden Globe nominations for his roles in Russell's American Hustle (2013) and Adam Mc Kay's The Big Short (2015).His first acting role was a commercial for the fabric softener Lenor in 1982.