The release of Thor: Love and Thunder is finally here. To celebrate the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s next big installation, Christian Bale spilled all the details on his shocking transformation into Gorr the God Butcher. The process required multiple hours from makeup artists and a lot of patience from Bale.
Christian Bale’s role as Gorr the God Butcher in ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’
Directed by Thor: Ragnarok’s Taika Waititi, the film follows Thor (Chris Hemsworth) as he attempts to reconcile with his past and find inner peace following the events of Avengers: Endgame. However, his retirement plans are abruptly interrupted when a new threat, Gorr the God Butcher, seeks to kill off all gods. The film arrived in theaters on July 8, 2022.
Although Gorr has popped up in several Marvel comics, Thor: Love and Thunder marks the character’s first live-action appearance in the MCU. As explained in his comic book origin story, Gorr vowed to kill all deities after learning that gods did exist, but did not help those in need, such as his dying family. With Thor being the God of Thunder, it’s not surprising that the Avenger finds himself as one of Gorr’s targets.
Along with Waititi and Hemsworth, the all-star cast also features the likes of Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson, and Russell Crowe.
Christian Bale’s physical transformation and prep for the role
While chatting with Entertainment Tonight about the upcoming film, Bale got candid about the hours-long process of transforming into the MCU’s newest supervillain.
Bale detailed his experience working with Waititi to pinpoint a specific look for the character. He explained that the process took “lots of improvisation and experimentation.”
And, of course, with an alien supervillain as physically menacing as Gorr, this required spending hours in the makeup chair while filming. Bale notes he and a team of makeup artists took on every day of the shoot.
“The practical application…we got it down to three and a half hours each morning,” said Bale of his elaborate transformation. “Myself and three absolutely brilliant makeup artists, creating Gorr each and every day.”
And believe it or not, Gorr’s chalky-white skin, scarred face, and long, clawed nails weren’t the only changes Bale had to make to his appearance. Underneath the white body paint and prosthetics, he also had to shave his head for the role.
Other Christian Bale roles that required dramatic transformations
Thor: Love and Thunder marks Bale’s introduction to the MCU. But it’s certainly not the first time Bale has had to dramatically alter his look for a role.
To play the emaciated insomniac Trevor Reznik in 2004’s The Machinist, Bale lost roughly 60 pounds in just four months, bringing his total weight down to 120 pounds at the start of filming.
On the other end, Bale put on weight for his first turn as Batman in 2005’s Batman Begins. “I overdid it because I was enjoying gorging,” he explained (via Men’s Health). The actor continued, “I was ignoring advice about taking it slowly because my stomach had shrunk, and I should just go with soups…I was straight into pizza and ice-cream and eating five meals in a sitting.” But with this came lots of discipline, as the actor also trained in the gym and lifted weights to complete his superhero transformation.
More recently, to play former Vice President Dick Cheney in 2018’s Vice, Bale gained 40 pounds, shaved his head, and even bleached his eyebrows. He then quickly shed the weight to play British race car driver Ken Miles in Ford v Ferrari.