Does It Come In Black?
The Source: Batman Begins (2005)
The Moment: The gadget geek in Bruce Wayne finds kindred spirit in Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman), as Bale happily tries out the Tumbler knowing it'll be perfect as his Batmobile. "Does it come in black?" he asks cheekily.
The Source: American Psycho (2000)
The Moment: Patrick Bateman (Bale) shares his new business card with undisguised smugness, but then has to face the ignominy of realising that his co-workers' cards are even more tasteful and innovative, culminating in Paul Allen's. As a horrified Bateman moans in voiceover, "it even has a watermark," Bale's mask-like face cracks with jealousy, embarrassment and hate.
Pride Of Lowell
The Source: The Fighter (2010)
The Moment: In the final scene, Bale (as Dickie Englund) and Mark Wahlberg (as Micky Ward) give an interview to camera, in which an emotional Dickie remarks that his old nickname - the Pride of Lowell - now belongs to his half-brother. Overcome with pride, Dickie walks away - an unscripted moment that arose because Bale himself was too emotional to continue.
The Source: Empire Of The Sun (1987)
The Moment: Spielberg's ability to extract wonderful performances from child actors paid off as Bale served notice of a rare talent as prisoner-of-war Jim Graham. The boy watches a Japanese funeral at the internment camp, and is so moved he offers his own plaintive tribute, singing Welsh song Suo Gan.
The Source: CNN (2011)
The Moment: While filming The Flowers Of War in China, Bale courted controversy with the Chinese authorities by trying to meet with an imprisoned blind lawyer and activist - a hero of the actor's. A CNN crew captured the actor being pushed and chased by police, but Bale was adamant that "I'm not being brave doing this," compared to the locals who stand up to repression.
Banter With Alfred
The Source: The Dark Knight (2008)
The Moment: Accusations that Bale's Bruce Wayne was too serious evaporate when one considers the joviality of his dealings with Michael Caine's Alfred. When the latter ponders, "I suppose they'll lock me up as well, as your accomplice," Bale teases back with exquisite timing, "Accomplice? I'm going to tell them the whole thing was your idea!"
The Hardest Part
The Source: The Prestige (2006)
The Moment: A weird one, this. The actual moment is the big reveal - the 'prestige' of the title - that (spoiler!) Alfred Borden's assistant Fallon is actually his identical twin brother, with whom he swaps roles to preserve the integrity of his Transported Man magic trick. But the impact is to send us scurrying back to look closer, as we suddenly realise that Bale has been playing two distinct roles, scene by scene, without us realising.
The Source: The 83rd Academy Awards (2011)
The Moment: Bale, rocking a beard in preparation for his role in The Flowers Of War , gave a humble acceptance speech for winning Best Supporting Actor, ranging from poetry (he called his wife "my mast through the storms of life") to humour (in acknowledge of co-star Melissa Leo's earlier swearing, he joked "I'm not gonna drop the f-bomb like she did; I've done that plenty before!").
The Source: Rescue Dawn (2006)
The Moment: Bale, no stranger to unique diets after subsisting on one apple and can of tuna per day to play The Machinist , here chomps on worms as real-life escaped Vietnam War PoW and looks genuinely, if deliriously, happy doing so.
Rip Your F***ing Lights Down
The Source: On the set of Terminator: Salvation (2009)
The Moment: As The Simpsons once put it, this one is "great," meaning large or immense; we use it in the pejorative sense. While Bale's rant at a cinematographer crossing his eyeline ("Am I going to walk around and rip your fucking lights down, in the middle of a scene? Then why the fuck are you walking right through?") is not his finest hour, it's the moment that popularised the actor's reputation for intense professionalism - who else could get that far 'in the moment' making a McG movie?