The Big Short: which public figure does Christian Bale play in the film? – CineSeries

In 2015, director Adam McKay looks back on the 2008 financial crisis with “The Big Short”. Highly appreciated by critics, the film sees several fictional characters inspired by real personalities. All except the one played by Christian Bale: Michael Burry.

The Big Short : the film which tells the crisis like no one else

Before The Big Short, Adam McKay was best known for his gritty comedies with Will Ferrell. Thus, we can cite Featured presenter: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Ricky Bobby : king of the circuit, Brothers in spite of themselves or even Very Bad Cops. However, in 2015, he ventured into a dramatic register by adapting the bestseller by Michael Lewis devoted to several financial players who had anticipated the subprime crisis. For the record, it is the writer’s fourth book to be adapted for the cinema, after Next : The Future Just Happened, The Blind Side and The strategist.

The Big Short © Paramount Pictures

Despite its complex subject of finance, The Big Short marks the spirits thanks to his black humor, the original intervention of several celebrities in cameo who break the 4th wall (Selena Gomez, Margot Robbie, Richard Thaler, Anthony Bourdain) and its five-star cast. Indeed, the film brings together Steve Carell, Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling et Brad Pitt (which produces the film through its production company Plan B Entertainment). Furthermore, the four actors agreed to cut their salaries to star in the film.


A the arrival, The Big Short will be nominated five times at the Oscars, and will win the statuette for best adapted screenplay.

Christian Bale in the shoes of a real financial investor

If Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt et John Magaro embody characters inspired by real people in The Big Short, Christian Bale is the only one to play a true public figure. So the actor is Michael Burry, real star in the world of financial investment. Indeed, this former neurologist became a fund manager in the 90s. The relevance of his investments led him to found his own company in the 2000s.

Michael Burry
Michael Burry

But it was especially during this decade that he attracted the attention of the public by intelligently predicting the explosion of the real estate bubble in the United States. Thanks to this anticipation, he was able to rake in a profit of one hundred million dollars, while some of his colleagues fell like flies during the terrible financial crisis of 2008. Currently, Burry manages its own management company. He is above all one of the voice that the business world is watching closely when the threat of a potential new financial crisis arises.

How did Bale prepare for the role?

Christian Bale is renowned for his overinvestment in the roles he plays. For the needs of The Big Short, he thus prepared himself with exigency. To begin with, he met Michael Burry. This undoubtedly allowed him to be able to transcribe with authenticity this man who shone with intelligence, despite his blindness in one eye and his Asperger syndrome. Subsequently, he tried to stick closely to the solitary and quasi-sociopathic attitude of the investor. So, for that, he made the choice not to have any interaction with the other actors of the film. He therefore remained alone in his office for several weeks, only for his scenes.

Ironically: three years later Christian Bale will work with Adam again McKay, for the needs of Vice. And to embody the politician Dick Cheney, he went even further by taking more than twenty kilos, and by shaving the hair.

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The Big Short: which public figure does Christian Bale play in the film? – CineSeries