Christian Bale proves once again that he is one of the best method actors of our time; claiming that he learned to play drums by listening to the heavy metal band Pantera's "By Demons Be Driven" for two weeks to prepare for his role as The Big Short's Mike Bury. In the movie, and apparently in real life, Bury unwinds at the end of his days as a hedge fund manager (one of the first to invest in the subprime mortgage crisis), by listening and playing double kick drum along to metal bands such as Pantera and Mastodon.
"He would listen to it all day long in his headphones, not just (Pantera) but Mastodon as well, but his brain is on fire so much that death metal calms him," Bale tells Screenrant in a recent interview.
Bale's crash course in drums took about two weeks and was aided by an instructor, but he says a lot of the learning came from just listening to the two bands non-stop for that time period. He obviously likes the music as well, exclaiming that it's a fantastic song.
Listen for the double kick drum in the video below.
Bale also revealed that he tore his knee prior to filming the drum scene, according to Consequence of Sound, but he insisted he play for the part despite director Adam McKay's suggestion to get a body double.
This is by far not the most extreme thing Bale has done for a role in a movie. The six-foot actor famously lost 63 pounds to weigh just 122 pounds for his role in The Machinist. He lost a similar amount of weight for his role as a drug addict trainer in The Fighter, and he's known to get pretty buff for the Batman movies.
The Big Short is up for five Oscars this year at the Academy Awards, including Bale for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.