Christian Bale has admitted he put his wife through hell by starving himself for his latest movie role. The heartthrob actor - who shot to fame playing a yuppie serial killer in 'American Psycho' - had to lose a third of his body weight for his part as an insomniac factory worker in 'The Machinist'. Bale achieved the feat by virtually living off a diet of cigarettes and whiskey, but, although he confesses he found it tough, he believes the emotional strain on his wife, Sibi, was worse. He said: "It was tough. Although my wife was with me the whole way, so it was a gradual decline, it wasn't very pleasant for her to be around and witness.

She did get pretty worried, and I promised her that if I ever felt something bad might happen, I'd just quit." Despite the gruelling preparation, the 30-year-old star admits he is delighted with the film, which also stars Jennifer Jason Leigh, and has won rave reviews for his performance. However, no sooner had Bale finished losing the weight, he had to pile it all back on for his new role as Batman. The handsome star plays the Caped Crusader - the fourth actor to do so - in new movie 'Batman Begins' and revealed he had to bulk up to play the superhero.

He added: "I had to get back into shape - you can't be skinny and play Batman."

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