British actor Christian Bale has been spent the last year being the male equivalent of Bridget Jones, losing a third of his body weight for one role and piling it back on to fit in the batsuit for Batman BEGINS.

The star - best known for his muscular physique in AMERICAN PSYCHO - lived on a diet of whisky and cigarettes to trim down to eight stone for his part as an insomniac factory worker in The Machinist.

He says, "It got very hard, so I avoided going out to dinner at all.

"In fact, every time I smelled some great dish, I became this drooling beast that just wanted to eat everything I could get my hands on. So I couldn't go out at all.

"My life was like that, pretty much. Except for the smoking and some whisky I had each night."

The 30-year-old also claims he frightened his wife with his emancipated new look, adding, "Although my wife was with me the whole time, so it was a gradual decline, it was not very pleasant for her to be around and witness. I felt so bad for her, even though I did try to make her feel comfortable.

"She did get pretty worried, and I did promise her that if I ever felt something bad might happen, I'd just quit."

13/10/2004 13:40