Just hand Christian Bale (and his dietician) an Oscar already because he’s undergone yet another dramatic physical transformation for what might be his biggest challenge to date: finding the humanity in Dick Cheney.
The first official trailer for “Vice,” a biopic about the former vice president from “The Big Short” director Adam McKay, was released on Wednesday and it shows how the actor transformed into the controversial political figure with startling accuracy.
Formerly titled “Backseat,” the film takes inspiration from a not too distant chapter in American history and chronicles Cheney’s journey from Washington big shot to George W. Bush’s second in command.
But as the trailer makes clear, Cheney will be the one pulling the strings as the clip opens with a conversation in which Bush, played by Academy Award-winner Sam Rockwell, asks him to be his running mate.
“George, I’m a CEO of a large company. I have been secretary of defense and I have been White House chief of staff,” Bale as Cheney says in the trailer. “The vice presidency is a mostly symbolic job.”
In the clip, Cheney only agrees to become vice president if Bush allows him to take over “mundane” duties in the White House like “overseeing bureaucracy, military, energy and foreign policy.”
Rockwell as Bush takes a beat and responds in a pitch-perfect Texan twang, “Yeah, right. I like that.”
The trailer also gives us glimpses of Amy Adams as Lynne Cheney and Steve Carell as Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, as well as infamous moments from Cheney’s time in the spotlight like his 2006 hunting accident.
“I’ve never seen someone work so hard at it, and it is hard on him, but really amazing to watch,” McKay said of Bale’s transformation. “I’m not worried about him looking exactly like Dick Cheney, I’m worried about him getting into the essence of this guy who’s complicated — surprisingly or maybe not so surprisingly, depending on your view of him.”
“Vice” hits theaters Dec. 25.