“Christian, please, I’m trying to have dinner”: Christian Bale Made His Life’s Mission to Beat Leonardo DiCaprio for $34M Movie Despite Oscar Winning Director Eyeing Titanic Star for Role

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Christian Bale Made His Life's Mission to Beat Leonardo DiCaprio for $34M Movie Despite Oscar Winning Director Eyeing Titanic Star for Role

While Christian Bale already got a little taste of Hollywood life being a child actor, his true popularity came when he starred in American Psycho. Christian Bale played the role of Patrick Bateman, an investment banker by day and a serial killer by night. Yes, he is exactly the guy whose gifs you see plastered all over social media these days.

Christian Bale in American Psycho
Christian Bale in American Psycho

However, the role didn’t fall into Christian Bale’s lap; he had to go through a lot of ups and downs before American Psycho became a reality for him. This includes the time when he and director Mary Harron were both removed from the project midway in order to incorporate Leonardo DiCaprio into the film. But Christian Bale knew not to give up hope.

Also Read: “I loved the toxicity”: Christian Bale Had No Ill-Will Against Temperamental Director Who Almost Landed Batman Star in a Foreign Prison for the Most Bizarre Reason

Christian Bale Was Dead Set on American Psycho

Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo DiCaprio

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After Lionsgate acquired the distribution rights for American Psycho, they revealed that they didn’t want Christian Bale, a fairly unknown actor, to take the lead. In their minds, the role of Patrick Bateman belonged to actors like Edward Norton or Leonardo DiCaprio. But Mary Harron knew that Bale was the only one right for the role.

After a lot of back and forth, which we’ll talk about in a bit, both Harron and Bale were removed from the project. The next director-actor duo to sign on was Oscar-winning filmmaker, Oliver Stone and DiCaprio. All hope should have been lost by now, right? Wrong.

Bale did not give up hope and was convinced that DiCaprio would eventually walk out on the film. He turned down many other roles that came his way and focused all his attention on American Psycho despite DiCaprio and Stone’s involvement.

Participating in MovieMaker’s Oral History of American Psycho, Bale talked about how he would often pester Harron to discuss the film. And even when Harron would tell him to snap back to reality, the Batman Begins actor stuck to being optimistic.

“I said to her, ‘I’m still gonna make this, and I’m still gonna keep prepping on it.’ And I would call her to talk about scenes, and she would be on a family vacation and she’d say, ‘Christian, please, I’m trying to have dinner. And I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there’s other people making the film now.’ And I’d say, ‘Mary, just stop being so negative. We’re gonna do this.’ Everybody thought I was crazy, but it became a crusade for me.”

Luckily, Bale’s obsession did not go in vain and both he and Harron were finally reinstated for American Psycho after DiCaprio walked out, just like Bale had predicted.

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How Mary Harron and Christian Bale Were Fired from the Film

Mary Harron and Christian Bale
Mary Harron and Christian Bale

Harron and Bale were about to begin filming in the next few months when Lionsgate shocked both of them to their core. Despite Harron’s refusal to cast Dicaprio as Patrick, Lionsgate went ahead to announce the actor’s casting at the 51st Cannes Film Festival. Needless to say, Harron was taken aback. When she made it crystal clear that she wouldn’t be directing DiCaprio even after the announcement, Harron was fired from her position.

Talking to The Guardian, Harron stated,

“We had a huge battle over it. They [Lionsgate] would’ve taken almost anybody over Christian…When you’re trying to get your film financed, you are up against a bunch of people who don’t care anything about that. Most of the time they don’t care if they cast is appropriate or not and movies have sunk like that.”

Thankfully, Harron was loyal enough to the story that she decided to walk out before going against her own self. Perhaps if Harron agreed to direct DiCaprio, we wouldn’t have gotten to see Bale absolutely nail the role under her direction.

As for DiCaprio, the Titanic actor walked out of the film to do The Beach (2000).  Following his exit, Stone too bid farewell to the project and Harron was brought back. However, the studio was still against Bale’s casting and tried to get everyone from Ben Affleck to Ewan McGregor in the film. When they all turned it down, they had no other option but to get Bale back. It’s safe to say that Bale manifested this job!

You can stream American Psycho on Peacock.

Source: MovieMaker – An Oral History of American Psycho, The Guardian

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Written by Mishkaat Khan

Mishkaat is a medical student who found solace in content writing. Having worked in the industry for about three years, she has written about everything from medicine to literature and is now happy to enlight you about the world of entertainment. She has written over 500 articles for FandomWire. When not writing, she can be found obsessing over the world of the supernatural through books and TV.