First Look: Christian Bale in The Fighter

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David O. Russell‘s The Fighter, the project he inherited from Darren Aronofsky, just started shooting and JustJared has the first shots of co-star Christian Bale on set. Mark Wahlberg plays the boxer “Irish” Micky Ward, who hails from Lowell, MA, where the film is shooting. Bale plays his half-brother Dicky Eklund, Ward’s sometime trainer and small-time criminal. JustJared’s headline (Christian Bale Looks Crack Cocaine Addicted) isn’t just a dig against his look for the film; Edlund was featured in the 1995 documentary High on Crack Street and has battled drug addiction for years.

I hate to think of the nutrition regimen Bale must follow to lose weight as he does for roles. We saw him slim down to an appalling degree for Brad Anderson’s The Machinist and again for Werner Herzog in Rescue Dawn. Bale’s one of those actors that seems able to just shed pounds like mad. He’s also been semi-shorn for this role, and it’s the dramatically thinned hair that really makes him look awful in these photos.

On the subject of The Fighter, The Playlist also reports that actress Allison Folland is now in the cast as Micky Ward’s ex-girlfriend. She’s been in To Die For, The Happening and won the Independent Spirit award for Best Actress for her role in All Over Me. The film follows the lives and boxing careers of junior welterweight Micky Ward and boxer/trainer/mentor Dicky Eklund; Melissa Leo plays the mother to the two men, and Amy Adams is on board as Micky’s bartender girlfriend. After gestating for quite some time with Aronofsky set to direct, it’s great to see this finally moving forward, even without him in the director’s chair. Really curious to see what David O. Russell does with the material.

Here’s a clip from High on Crack Street; Eklund is in the red baseball cap, and talks about his boxing career at 4:30.

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