Christian Bale is an actor who’s known for his starring role as Batman in ‘The Dark Knight Trilogy’ and for his method acting style. But where did he grow up?
Christian Bale was born in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire in Wales in 1974 to Jenny and David Bale. Though he was born in Wales, he grew up in Portugal, California, Wales, and England due to his father’s job as a commercial pilot.
Read on to learn more about Bale’s early life, family, and his early career.
Growing Up Around the World
Christian Bale was born in Wales on 30th January 1974. His parents, Jenny and David Bale, met whilst David was working on cargo ships and the couple married soon after.
After working on cargo ships, and travelling all over the world, David became a commercial pilot and did the exact same thing, which meant Chistian grew up moving often.
It was in Haverfordwest in the county of Pembrokeshire that Christian was born, though the family left the area when he was 2. It’s an ancient county town with a castle that was built in 1110.
Despite only having a brief connection with the town, it was the subject of an April Fool’s joke in 2015, when the town reported that they’d be erecting a gold twelve-foot batman statue to honor his legacy, complete with plans to project the symbol of a bat into the sky.
Though born in Wales, Christian doesn’t consider himself to be Welsh, and said in an interview when asked about his Welsh heritage, “I was born in Wales but I’m not Welsh – I’m English”.
As a child he spent some time in Portugal but most of his childhood was spent in various regions of England and he lived briefly in Oxford before attending school in Bournemouth.
He lived there, attending Bournemouth School, for four years. According to the Dorset Echo, Bale recalls being a bit “odd” as a child and said “I liked to walk in the woods at night and not break into a run to toy with my own fears”.
When his parents divorced in 1991, Christian moved to California with his Dad, whilst his Mom stayed in Bournemouth.
Though unconventional, Bale is certain that his “father’s roguish lifestyle” set him up for success as an actor and he told GQ, “having that as a child certainly set me up for the sort of life I lead now”.
Growing up, Christian was surrounded by artistic influence, which helped to encourage his creative streak.
He recalled in an interview with IMDB that a lot of his family members had connections to show business, including his Mom who was a circus performer.
His mother was also the head dancer, but his extended family included a comedian grandfather, an uncle who was an actor, a sister in theatre and a possible connection to Lillie Langtry.
As for his father, Christian Bale says “I must have inherited my restless nature, and being a bit of a gypsy like that”.
On the Road to Success
Bale was a child star who had his first major role as the lead character in the film ‘Empire of the Sun’, which was directed by Steven Spielberg.
He was a huge success at just 13 and the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures awarded him the Best Performance by a Juvenile Actor award.
Though his breakthrough launched him on the path to success, Bale has been open about his struggles with the media attention and has said in hindsight that there are dangers to success at that age.
However, for a family who were struggling financially at the time, his lucky break was a big help. He’s come a long way from his Welsh origins and now lives with his family in the US.
Watch the trailer for ‘Empire of the Sun’ that Bale starred in in 1987 in the YouTube video below.