Christian Bale became an expert at masking his identity as Batman, but in the brand new Vice trailer which was released on Wednesday, audiences can see the actor in what is surely his most unrecognizable role to date. Christian Bale stars as Dick Cheney in Vice and his transformation into the part is none other than extraordinary. In fact, the entire star-studded cast basically guarantees that this will be the one film everyone will be talking about come award season.
The trailer begins by featuring a friendly chat between Bale's Cheney and Sam Rockwell's George W. Bush, who is hoping to recruit Cheney to be his Vice President in the upcoming election. But this sly politician wants more out of the role than just the normal VP responsibilities, so he makes a few suggestions as to what he wants out of the job. “Well, George, I’m a CEO of a large company and I have been Secretary of Defense and I have been White House Chief of Staff,” Cheney explains to Bush in the trailer. “The vice presidency is a mostly symbolic job. However, if we came to a … uh … different understanding, I can handle the more mundane jobs: overseeing bureaucracy, energy, military and foreign policy.”
Bush's response to this seemingly innocent request? “Right. I like that.” And the rest, as they say, is history.
The trailer then flashes to Cheney working his way up the D.C. ladder by hobnobbing with fellow politicians at black tie events and attending various summit meetings. But while Rockwell's Bush may feel comfortable with the dynamic, it's clear who's really in charge behind the scenes. This is Cheney's world and we're all just living in it.
Bale and Rockwell aren't the only standout performances to look forward to in the film, though. Vice also stars Steve Carrell as Donald Rumsfeld, who asks Cheney, “Are you even more ruthless than you used to be?” Meanwhile, Amy Adams plays Lynne Cheney, who cautions her husband that with great power comes great responsibly: “When you have power, people will always try to take it from you.” Jesse Plemons, Alison Pill, Lily Rabe, and Tyler Perry will also appear in the project, which is currently scheduled to hit theaters on Christmas. (Because really, what better way to celebrate the festive holiday season than with a couple hours of political mind games?)
According to Vanity Fair, Bale shaved his head, bleached his eyebrows, and gained 40 pounds in order to take on the role of Cheney and it worked. At a glance, Bale is almost unrecognizable. But filmmaker Adam McKay, who previously worked with Bale in The Big Short, isn't surprised. In fact, he knew right the start that Bale was the perfect person to take on such a historical figure. “What Christian Bale really does is he psychologically breaks someone apart and puts them back together again,” McKay told Deadline in an interview. “I’ve never seen someone work so hard at it, and it is hard on him, but really amazing to watch. The second I thought of doing the movie, I knew right away, the most exciting person to play him is Christian.”
So should we just give Bale the Oscar now or still wait a couple of months?