When even Joe Rogan of all people is shocked into speechlessness and whispers “what a strange strange guy”, you know there is something inherently wrong with the subject in question. In this case, it just happened to be Tom Cruise. And there is a reason why the world’s most famous Hollywood star would elicit such a feeling of curiosity mixed with dread from people who wish to know him.
For Christian Bale, however, ideologies and conspiracies take a back seat as far as his contemporaries are concerned and the only thing he needed from Cruise was an inspiration of how best to portray the lead in American Psycho. As it so happens, the Top Gun actor was born to be a star but once he donned the mask for the public, he never really learned when or how to take it off.
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Christian Bale’s Psycho Is Inspired By Tom Cruise Interview
When Alfred Hitchcock first made Psycho, the cult classic was bound to reproduce generations of inspired artwork and recreations in film and television – not because of the director’s incredible project but of his protagonist’s haunting finale. Norman Bateman is the film and television industry’s most famous psychopath and who other than Christian Bale can make a modern-day rendition of this classically aged tale seem like a tribute rather than a cheap knock-off.
However, it seems as though even the great Bale needed an anchor to root his crazed murderer’s character in, and he happened to find it in an infamous 1999 David Letterman interview. The guest who needed no introduction that night was Tom Cruise and his hysterical laughter at recounting the story of a passenger passing out from the lack of oxygen became disturbing memorabilia for millions of fans since then. Among those haunted by that view was Christian Bale who streamlined the vision into his recreation of Patrick Bateman – a modern-day American white-collar slave of 9 to 5 who finds an impassioned devotion to go on murderous hunts at nightfall.
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In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, American Psycho director Mary Herron recalls tasking Christian Bale with treating his character like an alien attempting to study human nature. The suggestion led to Bale studying videos of Tom Cruise navigating through the ’90s. The actor’s incessant energy on talk shows through that decade painted a very particular picture of him as a hyperactive hurricane storming through a room with smiles and laughter plastered all over – enough to charm his audience into swooning and enough to mask whatever he had trapped within. Bale consequently termed Cruise’s performance as “a very intense friendliness with nothing behind the eyes.”
Tom Cruise’s 1999 Interview With David Letterman
The video: “Tom Cruise Goes Crazy Live on Letterman” is an eerie staple that exists in the nook of the industry and serves as entertainment for a fandom who don’t want to dwell on it for too long. But the interview did happen and it wasn’t that far out for Cruise to act that way in terms of traits and personality. A guest who waited on the wings that night on Letterman and was supposed to go on after Cruise waited by the monitors and watched the entire event unravel.
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He recalls on The JRE podcast how Cruise kept running up and down the stairs of the theatre, greeting people, shaking hands, smiling ear to ear, and recounting the infamous story to the show’s host. When the cameras panned out, Cruise said goodnight, jumped off the set, and the doors to the backstage swung open with a “very sweaty Tom Cruise standing nose-to-nose with […] and he’s like, ‘You’re next!’, and he hugs me, and he’s like, ‘Woo! It’s great out there!’ and then goes bouncing up the stairs.” Like most who have come to a similar conclusion about the Top Gun actor, the guest says, “He was like an electric eel.” And this eventually went into the making of Patrick Bateman in the incredible satirical critique of American capitalist society brought alive in American Psycho.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter