Christian Bale as The Machinist

Christian Bale as The Machinist

Following on from Christian Bale's first Screen Actors Guild Award on Sunday for his supporting performance in The Fighter, the chameleon actor has landed the top spot in the Most Extreme Movie Roles List for his character in The Machinist.

Natalie Portman's Oscar winning performance in the Black Swan and Johnny Depp's recent announcement of his shock green tea diet that is helping him lose several stone in preparation for his new film Dark Shadows, has prompted LOVEFiLM to ask film fans to name the Most Extreme Movie Roles of All Time. 

Leading the extreme pack with nearly half of the votes (49 per cent) is Christian Bale who gains top spot for his dedication to the role of Trevor Reznik in The Machinist - he stopped sleeping and lost 63 pounds in weight.

Robert De Niro charges into second place with 11 per cent of the vote for his award-winning performance in Raging Bull - director Martin Scorsese stopped production for four months to allow De Niro to increase his weight by 60 pounds by binging on carb-loaded Italian food. 

Creeping up in third place (nine per cent)  is Charlize Theron who swapped her frocks for smocks to become real-life American serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster. She binged on junk food to gain 30 pounds quickly for the role, destroyed her hair and bleached her eyebrows.

Fourth in the poll (seven per cent) is Daniel Day-Lewis for his portrayal of quadriplegic Christy Brown in My Left Foot (1989) and coming in at fifth is Tom Hanks in the desert island film Cast Away, which took five years to hit the big screen from concept - production was halted for a year to enable Hanks to lose 55 pounds and let his hair and beard grow.

Punching into sixth place (5 per cent) is Edward Norton in American History X, at seven is Dustin Hoffman in Rain Main and marching in to eighth place is Demi Moore as G.I Jane.

The only Brit to make the Extreme list is Tom Hardy for his 2009 depiction of Britain's most violent prisoner Charlie Bronson.

Hardy put on three stone of muscle in five weeks which included doing 2,300 press ups each day. Hardy made inroads with Bronson's fraternity and family and regularly visited the man himself at Wakefield maximum security prison in West Yorkshire.

Hilary Swank takes the final place with just one per cent of votes as female boxer Maggie Fitzgerald in Million Dollar Baby.

The Top Ten extreme roles are as follows:

1. Christian Bale -  The Machinist (2004) - 49 %
2. Robert De Niro -  Raging Bull (1980) - 11%
3. Charlize Theron - Monster (2003) - 9%
4. Daniel Day-Lewis - My Left Foot (1989) - 7%
5. Tom Hanks -  Cast Away (2000) - 6%
6. Edward Norton - American History X (1998) - 5%
7. Dustin Hoffman - Rain Man (1988) - 4%
8. Demi Moore - G.I Jane (1996) - 3%
9. Tom Hardy - Bronson (2009) -2%
10. Hilary Swank - Million Dollar Baby (2004) - 1%

Other - 3 %

Fliss White, Head of Brand Marketing at LOVEFiLM commented: "Following Natalie Portman's spine tingling performance in the Black Swan it's interesting to see an increase in film stars that are immersing themselves into their character roles. 

"All of the actors in the top 10 leave you  wanting more out of a film - it was shocking, frightening and moving.


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