Bale plays Jim Graham in Stephen Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun, a film portraying a young English boy’s struggle to survive in Shanghai under Japanese occupation during WWII. Bale is offered the role after starring in the made for TV movie Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna. Amy Irving, Bale’s co-star in the television movie, recommended Bale to her then-husband, Steven Spielberg, for the role.
I’d nothing to lose, I wasn’t thinking in terms of a career. I wasn’t really thinking about the consequences at all. I tend to think you’re fearless when you recognize why you should be scared of things, but do them anyway. I didn’t recognize it that time.