Feminist icon Gloria Steinem is begging her stepson Christian Bale not to take on any more roles where he has to gain or lose large amounts of weight.

Bale lost a third of his bodyweight to play the skeletal lead in THE MACHINIST and then had to bulk up immediately to play Batman in BATMAN BEGINS.

Steinem admits she was very worried about her stepson's health as he lost and gained the weight for the two roles.

She says, "I was concerned. That's a huge strain on the heart, perhaps even more when re-gaining than when losing. It's not mine to decide, but I hope and believe he won't do it again."

But the revered author understands why Bale feels it's necessary to truly inhabit characters he plays on the big screen, and she applauds his efforts.

The proud stepmother adds, "I think this Batman is the best I've ever seen of this genre... Christian has a rare gift for becoming each of his roles, from the inside out, and he did this with Batman. He gave him an emotional reality and arc of change over time that makes you care what happens to him.

"I can't separate myself from all my friends when I see them on screen, but I can with Christian. That's a testimony to how much he inhabits each of the very different roles he plays."

13/06/2005 02:37