Christian Bale on American Psycho: “I never viewed Patrick Bateman as a real character”

In American Psycho, Christian Bale had a specific approach to bringing out the complex traits of a homicidal killer.

Christian Bale on American Psycho: "I never viewed Patrick Bateman as a real character"

SUMMARY

  • In 2000, Christian Bale played Patrick Bateman, an investment banker by day and a psychotic killer by night, in Mary Harron’s American Psycho.
  • American Psycho in particular, saw The Dark Knight star tap into an unhinged side with his character Patrick Bateman.
  • Speaking of playing a maniacal and unscrupulous killer with no moral compass, Bale revealed that he approached the character and his shocking traits by never visualizing him as someone relatable or real.
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Over the years, Christian Bale has portrayed a gamut of characters in multiple genres that have showcased his vast acting talent. From playing one of DC’s celebrated superheroes Batman, to impressing audiences with his performance as the homicidal investment banker in American Psycho, Bale has proved that no role is too challenging for him.

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Christian Bale
Oscar winner Christian Bale

American Psycho in particular, saw The Dark Knight star tap into an unhinged side with his character Patrick Bateman. Speaking of playing a maniacal and unscrupulous killer with no moral compass, Bale revealed that he approached the character and his shocking traits by never visualizing him as someone relatable or real.

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Also Read: Christian Bale Debunked 1 Longstanding Heath Ledger Dark Knight Rumor: “When he took it off he was absolutely fantastic company”

Christian Bale On How He Mastered His Role In American Psycho

In 2000, Christian Bale played Patrick Bateman, an investment banker by day and a psychotic killer by night, in Mary Harron’s American Psycho. The Oscar winner’s unhinged and manic performance in the film won him praise from audiences and critics. While Bale’s acting prowess made him seem at ease in the role, there were many aspects of the film and the character that could have looked contrived.

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Christian Bale
Christian Bale in American Psycho

In an in-depth chat with Interview Magazine, The Fighter star was asked about how he managed to portray Patrick Bateman and his various fantasies without feeling self-conscious about certain over-the-top traits of the character. In reference to a s*x scene with two prostitutes in which he was seen flexing his arms in front of a video camera, Bale elaborated on his approach and said,

“I never viewed Patrick Bateman as a real character. It wasn’t going to work unless I made myself look absurd. There were so many times in that movie where I had to take that leap, and by the time I did that scene it really didn’t feel like much of a leap at all. It felt very much like just another day on the set of American Psycho.”

The actor’s complete commitment to embracing the exaggerated aspects of his role, enabled him to deliver a powerful performance that is still talked about today.

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Also Read: “I really don’t need to actually hit you”: Christian Bale Almost Beat the Sh*t Out of Heath Ledger after Joker Star Consented

Leonardo DiCaprio’s Loss Was Christian Bale’s Gain

With his brilliant performance, Christian Bale ensured that there is no other actor who could have played Patrick Bateman from American Psycho. Interestingly, the  British star was not the first choice for this role. The story goes that the film was actually offered to Leonardo DiCaprio. The studio was so keen on the Titanic star doing this film, that they ousted the director Mary Harron, who wanted to cast Bale, from the project.

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Christian Bale
Christian Bale got the role in American Psycho after Leonardo DiCaprio rejected it

The Departed star though, turned down the part due to differences with the new director. The studio then reinstated Mary Harron as the director for American Psycho, and she subsequently went back to Bale for the protagonist’s role. The Batman Begins star also acknowledged Leonardo DiCaprio’s talent and expressed his gratitude for letting go of American Psycho, which proved to be one of Bale’s memorable hits at the box office.

Also Read: “He was behaving in a very similar fashion”: Christian Bale Was Taken Aback by Heath Ledger’s Demand as Joker That Eclipsed His Own Method Acting

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Written by Sharanya Sankar

Sharanya Sankar, Writer for Fandomwire
Having completed her Masters degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, Sharanya has a solid foundation in writing which is also one of her passions. She has worked previously with Book My show for a couple of years where she gained experience reviewing films and writing feature articles. Sharanya’s articles on film and pop culture have also been published on Film Companion, a popular film-based website. Apart from movies and pop culture, her interests include music and sports. She has contributed over 650 articles to Fandomwire so far.