Leonardo DiCaprio has cemented his place in Hollywood as one of the biggest stars of his generation. Over 3 decades, the celebrity has gone from strength to strength, from being a child star to an actor of repute whose filmography boasts of many eclectic choices with some of the most sought-after directors. He added another feather to his cap by winning the coveted Oscar for The Revenant.
While Leonardo DiCaprio’s repertoire of films is the envy of many of his colleagues in Hollywood, The Departed star has also missed out on being part of some iconic movies that have not only won critical acclaim but also created avenues for other contemporaries to gain superstardom. One of the stars who benefitted greatly from DiCaprio’s rejection of a film is The Dark Knight trilogy actor Christian Bale.
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Leonardo DiCaprio’s Loss Became Christian Bale’s Gain
In 2000, Christian Bale starred in director Mary Harron’s American Psycho, a story about a young urban wall street professional who moonlights as a deadly serial killer by night. Apart from becoming a huge box office success and gaining critical acclaim worldwide, the film also gave Christian Bale a massive boost as a Hollywood superstar for his performance as the deranged Patrick Bateman. But the more interesting fact about the film is that it was first offered to the Titanic star, who rejected the role due to various reasons, including alleged conflicts with the script and director Mary Harron. Bale, who then stepped in, credited his colleague in a lighthearted fashion, saying,
“It doesn’t matter how friendly you are with the directors. All those people that I’ve worked with multiple times, they all offered every one of those roles to him first. Right? I had one of those people tell me that. So, thank you, Leo, because literally, he gets to choose everything he does. And good for him, he’s phenomenal.”
The decision to cast Christian Bale ultimately turned out to be the best choice for the film as director Mary Harron stated that she could make the film and shape the character the way she wanted, which would not have been the case if Leonard DiCaprio was on board.
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Here’s Really Why Leonardo Dicaprio Rejected American Psycho
Despite reports of a conflict of interest and creative differences, there are other reasons for Leonardo DiCaprio not taking on the role of Patrick Bateman in American Psycho. One of the rumors was that DiCaprio, who was fresh off James Cameron’s huge blockbuster Titanic, was advised not to immediately delve into a film that portrayed a deranged and violent killer as that would tarnish his lover boy image, especially since he had a huge young adult following at the time. But judging from later reports and Dicaprio’s admission, this was possibly not the real reason behind the actor rejecting the role. To quote the star who spoke candidly about his opinion of the script,
“Eventually, I realized it [American Psycho) didn’t amount to anything and didn’t mean anything in the end. I want to find something that strikes a chord in me,’”
DiCaprio eventually went on to sign up for Danny Boyle’s The Beach in place of American Psycho and spoke about his intrinsic connection to the narrative of the film. However, the majority of the audience didn’t seem to share The Blood Diamond star’s enthusiasm for the film, which resulted in the actor even receiving a Razzie for his performance. In contrast, Christian Bale’s psychotic killer performance earned him rave reviews and multiple award nominations.
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