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Method Actor Christian Bale Made ‘American Psycho’ Writer Bret Easton Ellis So Uncomfortable With His Patrick Bateman Act, the Writer Personally Asked Him to Stop

Method Actor Christian Bale Made 'American Psycho' Writer Bret Easton Ellis So Uncomfortable With His Patrick Bateman Act, the Writer Personally Asked Him to Stop

Christian Bale’s rendition of American Psycho is truly one of the greatest creations of contemporary cinema. But the modern-day retelling of the classic tale depended on the script just as much as it did on the execution of whoever would step into the shoes of Patrick Bateman. The story behind the studio’s search for a worthy actor is a troubling one, considering how both Christian Bale, as well as the film’s director, were both set on working together. But what is a victory without a little taste of defeat?

As the hope for Bale being cast in the role dwindled, the director kept advocating for the then-lesser-known actor in the lead. The actor, on his end, kept rejecting roles in the hopes of bagging American Psycho. It was meant to be. And perhaps, it’s only right that the film that he worked so hard to score would later go on to establish Bale as the method actor that he is today known to be.

Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman
Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman

Also read: “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

Christian Bale Scared Writer With His In-Character Persona

Once the production began on American Psycho and Christian Bale was brought on board, the actor who never believed in the term “method acting” when applied to him and always claimed that he would just kind of wing it” with his roles, fell so in sync with his role as Patrick Bateman, that Bret Easton Ellis, writer of the novel, had to ask him to stop doing whatever he was trying to do.

Whenever comments about his inimitable acting style were brought up in the past, Christian Bale would profusely refuse to practice any particular style, dismissing it as a one-trick pony. While out promoting his recent film, The Pale Blue Eye, Bale directly addressed the issue saying,

“Method actors study method acting. I’ve never studied any acting at all. I just don’t want to offend true method actors. I just do whatever I do. I don’t know what it is.”

However, as involved as the actor may have gotten in his role as Patrick Bateman, nothing scared him more than his encounter with the bankers on the trading floors of Wall Street. In an interview with GQ, the actor recalled,

“When I arrived there before making the film, a bunch of them would go, ‘Ah Patrick Bateman!’ and pat me on the back and would go, ‘Oh yeah, we love him,’ and I was like, ‘Yeah, ironically, right?’ and they were like, ‘What do you mean?’”

American Psycho is a modern-day horror film
American Psycho is a modern-day horror film

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

The novel, written by Bret Easton Ellis and published in 1991 is a searing satire and criticism of the capitalistic culture and society in the 80s. Bale went on to acknowledge that fact and dismiss the ridiculousness of his entire encounter with the people on Wall Street, claiming that the fictional aspect of the story in itself was so overtly exaggerated that it felt hilarious to him.

Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman Was a Class Apart

When Christian Bale came along, it was almost unanimously believed that the American Psycho team couldn’t have asked for a better lead. But the director, Mary Herron, already knew it after one audition session.

“When I first went in and auditioned for [Herron], I just went to her apartment and it was just her with a little camera, and I didn’t approach it like she said the other actors had where they were talking about what’s his childhood, what’s the reason he’s become this. I was like, ‘None of that really matters. He’s just like this alien.’

And so, as we were doing the scene, I started laughing and she started cracking up and we both realized we had the same very sick sense of humor, and we were like, ‘Oh yeah, alright this will work between us.’”

Christian Bale in American Psycho
Christian Bale in American Psycho

Also read: Tom Cruise Inspired Christian Bale For American Psycho With “Nothing behind the eyes” Psychopathic David Letterman Interview Making Fun of Unconscious Passenger

During the casting call, Bale didn’t have much to show for himself (all his great unassailable works came later on in his career) and there were already other better-known actors stepping up for the role, but Herron believed in that young boy whose defiant role made an indelible impression in Steven Spielberg’s 1987 film, Empire of the Sun. It also helped that he managed to blow away the director with his humor and take on the character.

Source: Twitter

Written by Diya Majumdar

It's 2023 and Diya Majumdar's social life is defined by a 365-day binge-marathon of films and television shows. Having graduated with honors in literature from Miranda House, she now has more than 1000 published articles on Fandomwire, and her passion and profession both include dissecting the world of cinema. She happens to be a liberally opinionated person with an overbearing love for Monet, Edvard Munch, and Van Gogh, and hardly anything fascinates her more than painting exact replicas of all their troubled works – in oil, of course.