You will be redirected back to your article in seconds
Adam McKay On How Christian Bale
Adam McKay On How Christian Bale

Adam McKay Explains How Christian Bale's Method Acting Helped Him Survive a Heart Attack

There are many perks to being a Hollywood movie director — like lifesaving medical advice from your leading man that helps you prevent a fatal heart attack.

“Vice” helmer Adam McKay received just that in a bonkers case of life imitating art, he told Variety during a recent conversation about working on the Dick Cheney biopic with Christian Bale. The star played for Vice President Dick Cheney, who has suffered numerous heart attacks throughout his life and career.

“I was one of those foolish people who thought I could smoke into my late 40s,” McKay said. After wrapping principal photography, McKay said he felt “a tingling in my hands, but it didn’t feel like a heart attack.”

He immediately recalled shooting a heart attack scene with Bale, notorious for doing his homework for any given role. Bale’s research led to numerous symptoms for heart attack, not the classic numb-arm, grip-chest, keel-over stuff most movies depict. Heart attacks can be as simple as queasiness in the stomach and tingling in the hands.

“Because your lead actor told you that, you have no damage to your heart,” McKay recalled the doctor saying. Watch him relive the entire ordeal in the clip above.

“Vice” is currently in theaters.

More Popular on Variety

  • A Night in the Writer's Room

    Comedy Showrunners on the Impact of the WGA Staffing Boost

    Variety‘s Michael Schneider sat down with writer’s from “Forever,” “The Other Two,” “Vida,” “Atypical,” “Insecure,” “Broad City,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “Dead to Me” and “Pen15” for Variety‘s “Night in the Writers’ Room” comedy panel. The panelists began by discussing the trend of blurred lines between comedy on drama in television. “Pen15” writer Maya Erskine shared [...]

  • A Night in the Writer's Room

    Showrunners on the Realities of Writing: ‘It’s A Continual Cycle of Panic and Fear, It’s Super Fun’

    The creators and showrunners from “Good Girls,” “Homecoming,” “Catch-22,” “You,” “The Walking Dead,” “The Chi,” “Ozark,” and “Star Trek: Discovery” for Variety‘s Writer’s Room panel. The scribes kicked off the talk about what aspects of their shows narratives prompt the most discussion in the room. “Good Girls” writer Jenna Bans jumped in and immediately said [...]

  • Chris Hemsworth MIB premiere Thor

    Chris Hemsworth Responds to the 'Avengers: Endgame' Fat-Shaming Thor Controversy

    Chris Hemsworth finally responded to many fans’ accusations of fat-shaming his normally muscular character Thor’s new, heavier appearance in “Avengers: Endgame” from earlier this year. “He’s making jokes about himself, though, wasn’t he?” he said to Variety at the world premiere of “Men in Black: International.” “Endgame” surprised almost everyone by introducing “Lebowski Thor” (as [...]

Most Popular

Access exclusive content