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Christian Bale said that due to the improvisational directing style of Adam McKay, he had to do more research for this film than any other film he's done. In order to ad-lib in character, Bale not only needed to have Dick Cheney's mannerisms and vernacular down, but he also had to know which policies, their instances, and abbreviations the Vice President would be aware of at any given moment in his life.
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Christian Bale gained 45 pounds, shaved his head, bleached his eyebrows and exercised to thicken his neck for his role as Cheney. Bale said he achieved his hefty physique for the film by eating a lot of pies.
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As Cheney has had well-documented heart problems for most of his adult life, Christian Bale had to study heart attack prevention as part of his method--his tips ended up saving Adam McKay's life, as he suffered a heart attack during post-production.
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The film correctly credits (or blames) Frank Luntz for inventing the terms 'climate change' and 'death tax'.
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Director Adam McKay suffered a mild heart attack during post-production. He decided to include black-and-white footage of the procedure to insert the stent in his heart, considering this to be his cameo. McKay attributed his heart attack to gaining weight and increasing his cigarette smoking under the pressure of the shoot, and resolved to quit smoking.
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It was revealed that Amy Adams stayed in character during filming, especially keeping her character's distinct voice. She would even have political debates with the director while maintaining the voice. Adams revealed that it was the first time she stayed in character throughout filming.
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Sam Rockwell's biggest physical concern was George W. Bush's "lip forward" method of speaking. He requested prosthetic in the mouth region, in addition to the entirely prosthetic nose he wore for the film.
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Christian Bale claimed this was the first time he used a nutritionist to help with weight gain, as he was more concerned with maintaining his health than when he was a younger man.
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Christian Bale was Adam McKay's only choice to play Dick Cheney. Having worked together on The Big Short (2015), McKay was impressed by Bale's ability to psychologically break a character apart and put them together again. McKay said, "The second I thought of doing the movie, I knew right away, the most exciting person to play him is Christian".
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The cast filmed a musical sequence, but it was cut in editing after McKay decided to shift to a more serious tone.
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The more Adam McKay plunged into Dick Cheney's political career, the more he realized that he had a lasting and considerable influence on contemporary American politics. His mission, in his eyes, was to write a scenario that goes beyond political beliefs and addresses universal themes.
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While Christian Bale and makeup artist Greg Cannom were trying to develop the look of Dick Cheney, the actor focused on appropriating the character. According to executive producer Jeff G. Waxman, Bale studied Cheney by viewing every single one of his interventions and interviews.
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Upon accepting his Golden Globe award, Bale joked: "Thank you to Satan for giving (him) inspiration on how to play this role".
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Daughter and son-in-law (and White House advisors) to President Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, attended a showing of Vice, but left halfway through the film. Their motives for leaving the film early are unknown.
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This is the first movie in which the focus is on a real-life US Vice President who did not officially become President; in 2002 and 2007 President Bush had a colonoscopy, which made Cheney acting President for a short time.
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Adam McKay and Steve Carell first worked together in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004). The end of that film says that his character got a job in the Bush White House. In this film, that's exactly what he does.
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This film reunites much of the cast and crew who worked on The Big Short (2015), including director Adam McKay, actors Christian Bale and Steve Carell and producer Brad Pitt.
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Christian Bale was originally set to play George W. Bush in W. (2008) before dropping out of the movie and being replaced by Josh Brolin. In this film, he plays Bush's Vice President, Dick Cheney.
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The original title of Vice was "Backseat."
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Paramount Pictures was going to distribute the film, but for unknown reasons, the rights were shifted to Annapurna Pictures.
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Despite the final film's lighthearted satirical tone, director Adam McKay claimed all scenes featuring warfare, terrorism, and torture were taken very seriously, with attention to accurate technical detail, and the actors playing the scenes straight. One of the reasons why the production was very stressful for him.
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For his research on the character of Dick Cheney, director Adam McKay has read Robert A. Caro's formidable biography of Robert Moses, "The Power Broker," a clever book on a man's rise to power and his struggle to stay there .
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In 2006, Dick Cheney was a contender for the World Stupidity Prize in the category "The most stupid man of the year."
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Naomi Watts makes a recurring cameo appearance in the film as a conservative news anchor. Watts's next screen role after this film was playing real-life news anchor Gretchen Carlson in the TV limited series The Loudest Voice (2019). Watts also previously played outed CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson in Fair Game (2010), who is referred to but not seen in this film.
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Christian Bale and Amy Adams are only eight years older than Lily Rabe, who plays their daughter Liz Cheney, and only 11 years older than Alison Pill, who plays their other daughter Mary.
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The film features two Academy Award winners: Christian Bale and Sam Rockwell; and three Academy Award nominees: Amy Adams, Steve Carell and Naomi Watts.
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Christian Bale and Amy Adams previously worked together in The Fighter (2010) and American Hustle (2013).
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The two military jets shown bombing a target in Iraq are F-14 Tomcats. Cheney canceled future F-14 orders in 1989 while Secretary of Defense, leading to the replacement of the Tomcat by the F-18 Super Hornet and ultimately the retirement of the F-14 from US military service by 2006.
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The only film of the year to be nominated for Best Picture and Best Make-up & Hairstyling at the Academy Awards.
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When Dick is discussing the possibility of running as Veep with his wife in their bathroom he rinses his mouth with Original Listerine (the yellow one). This is a clear nod to another of Christian Bale's roles, namely The Machinist (2004) which features the same brand and variety on his sink in the opening scenes of the film when he is washing his hands obsessively. Both Vice and The Machinist feature major weight changes (gain for Vice and loss for The Machinist).
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This will be the fourth collaboration between actor Steve Carell and director Adam McKay. Previous collaborations are Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004), Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013) and The Big Short (2015).
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Dick Cheney was an avid fly fisherman, a discipline that requires great patience - a quality that contributed significantly to his methodical rise, both in politics and in the business community. However, none of this would have been useful without the encouragement and ambition of his wife, Lynne Vincent, his girlfriend since high school. After Cheney dropped out of Yale and fined twice for drunken driving, his wife helped him recover.
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Christian Bale became the first actor to be nominated for an Academy Award for playing a real-life vice president.
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Like many Americans, Adam McKay knew little of the elusive - and seemingly impenetrable - Dick Cheney who was almost co-chairing George W. Bush from 2001 to 2009. And that, in turn, upset the course of the American history, if not forever, at least for decades to come.
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The role of Dick Cheney was previously played by Richard Dreyfuss in W. (2008). Bale and Dreyfuss both had early successes in the films of Steven Spielberg. Dreyfuss appeared in Jaws (1975), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) and Always (1989), while Bale appeared in Empire of the Sun (1987).
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It is the second theatrical film to depict the presidency of George W. Bush, following Oliver Stone's W. (2008).
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At one point the narrator mentions that Donald Rumsfeld was part of a wrestling team during his youth. Steve Carell, who plays Rumsfeld, previously played John du Pont in Foxcatcher (2014), another real-life character who was a sponsor and coach of a wrestling team.
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This will be the second collaboration between Steve Carell and Christian Bale. Previous collaboration is The Big Short (2015).
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Shea Whigham, who plays Lynne Cheney's father Wayne Vincent, and Bill Camp, who plays President Gerald Ford, both appear in 2019 psychological thriller movies Joker, where Whigham and Camp played Gotham City Police Department detectives who investigating murders on the train which they believed to be involving the movie's primary character.
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For his portrayal of George W. Bush in this film, Sam Rockwell became the seventh actor to receive an Academy Award nomination for portraying a real-life U.S. President, after Raymond Massey (as Abraham Lincoln in Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940)), Alexander Knox (as Woodrow Wilson in Wilson (1944)), James Whitmore (as Harry S. Truman in Give 'em Hell, Harry! (1975)), Sir Anthony Hopkins (as Richard Nixon in Nixon (1995) and as John Quincy Adams in Amistad (1997)), Frank Langella (as Richard Nixon in Frost/Nixon (2008)), and Sir Daniel Day-Lewis (as Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln (2012)). Day-Lewis is the only one to win.
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Todd McCarthy's favorite movie of 2018.
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The only film starring both Christian Bale and Amy Adams to not be directed by David O. Russell.
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According to Adam McKay, it was Christian Bale's idea for his character to break the fourth wall at the end of the film. McKay didn't initially want to have Cheney addressing the camera but once Bale pointed out that if there ever was a time to do so it would be in that scene, McKay agreed to film it not knowing whether he would include it in the final cut or not. Bale and McKay wrote the monologue together just a day before filming. In the end McKay was so impressed by Bale's performance in the scene and how it captured Cheney's essence that he decided to include it in the film and was thankful for Bale to have suggested it.
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When Joseph C. Wilson's op-ed criticizing the Bush administration is released in the New York Times, Cheney tells Scooter Libby to "out" Wilson's wife Valerie Plame (an undercover CIA agent) in retaliation. Naomi Watts, who plays a news anchor in "Vice", portrayed Valerie Plame in Fair Game (2010).
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