Christian Bale is giving up his extreme weight transformations for movie roles over health fears.
The Batman Returns star gained 21kg to play the heavyset Dick Cheney in critically acclaimed new film Vice, which chronicles the politician's rise from Yale University dropout to vice president to George W. Bush from 2001 to 2009.
But in an interview with The Sunday Times Culture magazine, the 44-year-old conceded that his days of putting his body on the line for the sake of a role are over.
"I can't keep doing it. I really can't," Bale confessed, as he admitted it was exacting a heavy toll on him. "My mortality is staring me in the face."
The notoriously temperamental actor also said it wasn't fair on his wife, former model Sibi Blazic, who has had to live through the star's many extreme transformations over the years.
Like actors including Robert De Niro and Tom Hanks, Bale has slimmed down and bulked up for several of his film roles, including American Hustle, The Big Short and The Machinist, for which he lost 28kg.
And he did the same for his role as the former U.S. Vice President in a bid to match Cheney's stocky figure, but this time under doctor's advice.
However, after running into fellow actor Gary Oldman, he realized that maybe he was doing too much after Oldman told him he hadn't gained any weight to play Winston Churchill in his Oscar-winning turn in biopic Darkest Hour.
"By this time I'm 20lb in," sighed the Golden Globe winner – who is tipped for an Oscar. "I said, Wait – none?' I felt like such a t*t, but I thought: 'I'm on this road; I'm going to keep going.'"
While his long-suffering wife has had to put up with his bizarre work rituals, he shared that one member of his family, his four-year-old son, Joseph, loved his rounder physique.
"He would just bounce up and down on that a lot and headbutt it and bounce off it and fall to the floor," he laughed.