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CAPTAIN CORELLI'S MANDOLIN

After a private reading with John Madden, CHRISTIAN BALE won the role of Mandras, perhaps the film's most contradictory character. "His work has an edge to it," commented Madden. He's not afraid to go to where that edge comes from, a darker place. He's a good contrast to Nic as Corelli."

Born in Wales in 1974 into a performing—inclined family. Christian Bale grew up in England, Portugal and the U. S. He made his West End theater debut at age 10 in The Nerd and his film debut two years later starring in Steven Spielberg's Empire of the Sun.

He next appeared with Kenneth Branagh in Henry V, played Jim Hawkins to Charlton Heston's Long John Silver in Treasure Island, and opposite Winona Ryder in Little Women. He received more praise for his memorable portrayals of the passionately frustrated Ned Rosier in Jane Campion's The Portrait 0f a Lady; a cynical. closeted journalist in the glam rock epic, Velvet Goldmine; a husband in mid-life crisis opposite Emily Watson in Metroland; Jesus Christ in Eunice Kennedy Shriver's NBC telefilm, Mary, Mother of Jesus; and a misguided suitor opposite Calista Flockhart in 1998's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Critics were unanimous in their acclaim for his gruesomely comic turn in last year's American Psycho, which earned Bale three Best Actor nominations from various critics groups, and he scored next in Shah, opposite Samuel L. Jackson. He is currently in Ireland filming Reign of Fire opposite Matthew McConaughey for Spyglass Pictures.

Bale has attracted one of the largest fandoms on the Internet. Entertainment Weekly declared Bale to be the "largest star on the Internet" and one of the most "powerful cult figures" in entertainment of the past decade.

The actor works actively for animal rights with Greenpeace, the Ark Trust and other organizations.

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