For Batman Begins, Christian Bale had to bulk up after dropping a whopping 63 pounds for his unsettling role as an insomniac in The Machinist. He gorged on pizza and ice cream to rebuild his mass before training for the Batman film.
"He had a surprising amount of muscle," says Eric Oram, a Los Angeles Wing Chun king fu trainer who worked with Bale. "But to be able to drop that weight, put it back on and then build muscle, that's very hard on the body. His internal systems were a bit rough and his energy was quite low. But his spirit came through in spite of that."
Wing Chun kung fu originated with a group of warrior monks in China. Oram describes it as "quick and explosive but very economical," a style that suits Batman at the start of the film. Wing Chun is meant to protect, but Oram adds, "If you're emotionally too raw, the same action can become a violent act." -- R.P.