Update: The Church of Satan has now responded to Bale's comments. Their response can be seen directly below.
To us, Satan is a symbol of pride, liberty and individualism, and it serves as an external metaphorical projection of our highest personal potential. As Mr. Bale's own talent and skill won him the award, this is fitting. Hail Christian! Hail Satan! https://t.co/ILuK8TFZXi— The Church Of Satan (@ChurchofSatan) January 7, 2019
Vice star Christian Bale won the Golden Globe for Best Actor on Sunday night, and proceeded to thank Satan for inspiring his Dick Cheney performance. While he sports the looks and charm of a Hollywood leading man, Bale is in many ways a high profile character actor. Bale has a habit of disappearing into his roles, in a fashion somewhat similar to his late The Dark Knight co-star Heath Ledger. He's been acting regularly since the 1980s, but it wasn't until his iconic 2000 turn as yuppie serial killer Patrick Bateman in American Psycho that he really started to head to the A-list.
Bale followed up playing Bateman with memorable roles in the cult dystopian sci-fi film Equilibrium, and the indie psychological thriller The Machinist, the latter of which saw Bale lose a shocking amount of weight to play his chronic insomniac character. Bale then put the weight back on for perhaps his most famous role, playing Batman and Bruce Wayne in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy. Bale has since given great performances in films like The Prestige, The Fighter, American Hustle, and The Big Short. His most recent effort came in director Adam McKay's Vice, a satirical biopic about former U.S. vice president Dick Cheney.
Bale underwent another stunning physical transformation to play Cheney in Vice, packing on the pounds again, but not in muscle like when he was bulking up for Batman. While the overall Vice movie proved divisive among critics - earning a barely fresh 63% on Rotten Tomatoes - Bale's spot-on performance as Cheney earned raves from just about everyone. Many saw him as a front runner come award season, and on Sunday night, he took home the Golden Globe for Best Actor. While accepting his award, Bale took a few shots at Cheney, including thanking McKay for casting him as someone "absolutely charisma-free and reviled by everybody." According to EW, Bale raised the most eyebrows by thanking Satan for inspiring his portrayal of Cheney.
"Thank you to Satan for giving me inspiration on how to play this role," Bale quipped.
Bale's win for Vice marks his second Golden Globe win, and fourth nomination. Bale previously won in 2010 for his supporting role in The Fighter, the role for which he also picked up his first Oscar. Like in the star-studded Big Short, McKay surrounded Bale with an absolutely first-class cast in Vice, including Amy Adams, Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell, Alison Pill, and Lily Rabe. Vice also came into the night with nominations for Best Musical or Comedy, Best Supporting Actress for Adams, Best Supporting Actor for Rockwell, and Best Director and Screenplay for McKay. Unfortunately, Bale was the only one to actually win.
Obviously, anyone who leans to the right politically won't appreciate Bale's comments about Cheney, and will see it as yet another example of an awards show acceptance speech turning into an excuse to bash conservative politicians. Then again, at this point in history, America is so divided politically that most conservatives probably aren't watching many awards shows. At the end of the day, Bale's politics weren't a secret when he was cast in Vice, so one shouldn't have expected him to come out of the film with a changed mind. Still, comparing the former vice president to Satan is probably a bit much.