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“I just didn’t think he was right for it”: American Psycho Director Fought to Keep Christian Bale Over Leonardo DiCaprio Despite Latter’s Teenage Girl Fanbase After Titanic

American Psycho Director Fought to Keep Christian Bale Over Leonardo DiCaprio

American Psycho is considered a significant catalyst in Christian Bale’s career. Even though the movie couldn’t do anything exceptional at the box office, it gained a cult status over the years. Bale’s performance as Patrick Bateman is still considered one of the best ever. But it still surprises the fans how Bale was almost on the verge of losing the role to actors who were more popular than him then. It was only because of the director Mary Harron, he landed the part in the 2000 slasher flick.

Marry Harron
American Psycho director, Mary Harron

Revolving around Patrick Bateman, an Investment Banker in New York City as well as a secret serial killer, the Christian Bale movie was inspired by the Bret Easton Ellis novel of the same name. The plot of American Psycho is largely popular for the balance maintained by it between horror and satirical comedy.

Also Read: “His body is the pinnacle of masculinity”: Christian Bale’s Brutal Workout Routine For ‘American Psycho’ That’s Taking the Internet By Storm to Achieve Patrick Bateman Physique

Christian Bale was not the first choice for American Psycho

Christian Bale FandomWire
Christian Bale in American Psycho

Even though The Dark Knight trilogy fame presented a career-defining performance in the Mary Harron directorial, it was Leonardo DiCaprio who was the chosen one before Bale. The producers and the distributors wanted to cast DiCaprio who was a very well-known face then due to his recent hit Titanic. 

Also Read: “It was always worrying”: Christian Bale Was Left Terrified in Wall Street When Bankers Unironically Told Him They Love Patrick Bateman From American Psycho as Their Idol

But Mary Harron was hell-bent on her decision to rope in Christian Bale which also led her to be fired from the project and replaced by U-Turn fame, Oliver Stone.

“I didn’t agree with that, partly because he was such a big star but also because he had a teenage girl fanbase. I just didn’t think he was right for it – so I was fired from the movie for a while.” 

Leonardo DiCaprio is a big fan of the Squid Game series.
Leonardo DiCaprio was the first pick to play Patrick Bateman

This attempt of bringing in Leonardo DiCaprio in American Psycho is also an interesting story as he turned down the movie first before returning to it with Oliver Stone on board until finally both of them exited the project due to creative differences. It ultimately led to Harron coming back as the pilot with Christian Bale in the lead:

“They couldn’t agree on the script, so they brought me back and I was able to cast Christian.”

Additionally, Christian Bale also accompanied Mary Harron to grab the role to himself as various reports state how he threatened many popular faces like Ewan McGregor to leave the part for him.

Also Read: Christian Bale Received Death Threats For Deciding to Film ‘American Psycho’ Only to Take Them Head On Because He Was Into the Character

Following that what happened is a story very well-versed to everyone. Bale’s presented a terrific performance as Patrick Bateman and is remembered among movie lovers even today. Besides the performance, the satirical tonality incorporated in a violent slasher movie by Harron was also subjected to huge praise. But as Mary Harron describes, the movie couldn’t praise everyone initially and divided the audience to a large extent.

American Psycho was not always a fan favorite

Films we hated as kids but like as adults
A still from The American Psycho

According to Mary Harron in her interview with Little White Lies, people couldn’t understand the true meaning of American Psycho at first which led to a highly divided audience reception.

“People didn’t know how to take it. We did test screenings and it split people down the middle; it inspired very strong reactions.” 

She further revealed how she thought the movie could have catapulted Christian Bale’s career to the sky and even gotten him some reputed nominations but none of that happened. But Harron was happy about how the movie gradually went on to become a pop culture phenomenon and a cult classic.

Also Read: “Oh god, we got to take it out”: Christian Bale Nearly Lost His Eye Due to Method Acting, Forced Himself to Wear Lens That Looked Like a Glass Eye Which Almost Left Him Partially Blind

The character of Patrick Bateman is even relevant to date and even part of many popular Internet trends. It can’t be denied that Bale not only created a name for himself with the project but also built a character that can never be forgotten.

American Psycho can be streamed on HBO Max.

Source: Little White Lies 

Written by Subham Mandal

Subham Mandal is currently working as a writer for FandomWire with an ardent interest in the world of pop culture. Subham has written more than 400 articles on different spheres of modern pop culture and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in English based in Kolkata. He’s also an experienced student journalist having demonstrated work experience with the Times of India. He aspires to be a column writer in the future.