After an extended hiatus, Christopher Nolan cast a then 30-year-old Bale in his Batman reboot. That made him the youngest actor to ever portray the Dark Knight. Back then, he was best known as the axe-wielding madman Patrick Bateman in 2000’s Psycho.
Once again, fans were skeptical, but it all went away as soon as Batman Begins premiered in 2005. Bale’s Bruce Wayne was perfect for the new millennium: a brooding hero hasking a lot of unresolved trauma. Bale’s trilogy ended up becoming one of the most revered film trilogies of all time; with 2008’s The Dark Knight hailed as a game changer in the industry, prompting the Oscar to change its Best Picture quota and inspiring a whole decade of gritty, uber-serious tentpole films.