Long before he was Batman, or getting Academy recognition for playing boxer’s brothers, and vice presidents, Christian Bale was terrifying audiences with his portrayal of the incredibly sadistic and cruel Patrick Bateman!
American Psycho may be extremely violent, sinister, and not for the faint of heart. But within it are sharp social/political criticisms, and an incredibly dark, satirical sense of humor. So in honor of the film’s 20 anniversary today, we thought it would be fun to take a look at 20 brutal facts about American Psycho!
1. Several attempts had been previously made to adapt the novel, including one with Johnny Depp starring and Stuart Gordon directing, one with Brad Pitt starring and David Cronenberg directing, and finally one with Leonardo DiCaprio starring and Oliver Stone directing. Honestly though, it’s hard to imagine anyone but Christian Bale in the role.
2. Patrick’s reference to the Ed Gein quote (the one about wanting to treat a woman right, but also see her head on a stick) was not actually said by Gein. It was in face a quote from another serial killer, Edmund Kempter.
3. In a rare twist of coincidence, American Psycho features a future Batman (Christian Bale) brutally killing a future Joker (Jared Leto), albeit from two different cinematic universes.
4. The film was directed by a self-proclaimed feminist, Mary Harron, which helped to reconcile with much of the film’s controversy. As it was being made, many groups protested its violence against women.
Harron however, saw the satire in the script and was intrigued by it. She also felt that given the film’s subject matter, it was best told from a feminist female perspective like hers.
5. Bateman’s character is actually quite toned down in the movie. The novel features a character who’s
much more overtly racist, sexist, and homophobic. Mary Harron felt that it was better to leave these things heavily implied rather than explicitly stated.
6. Among those who took issue with the material was Christian Bale’s own stepmother, Gloria Steinem. She protested the 1991 publishing of the novel, and was even dating Bale’s father in 1999, when the movie was being shot. They married in 2000.
7. Author Bret Easton Ellis has since regretted linking Huey Lewis to his novel (as well as the movie), claiming that he wasn’t even that big of a Lewis fan to “do that to him”.
Lewis himself however sees the humor, as he even did a video for Funny or Die with Weird Al, parodying the scene from this movie.
8. Patrick Bateman was also a huge Whitney Houston fan in the novel, but she refused to allow any of her music to be feature in the film.
9. Both director Mary Harron, as well as Reese Witherspoon (Evelyn, Patrick’s fiancé) were pregnant during filming.
10. An early draft of the scrip by Ellis himself ended with a musical number on top of the World Trade Center. In hindsight, Ellis states that he’s very glad they didn’t do this ending.
11. Ellis claims that the character of Patrick Bateman was slightly based on his own father, which is disturbing if you think about it…
12. The threesome scene had to be edited down quite a bit, just to avoid an NC-17 rating, and get it down to R.
13. Bale allegedly had his teeth capped so as to look perfectly white, as this is something that someone like Patrick Bateman would have.
14. Shares eerie similarities to Vampire’s Kiss, where Nicholas Cage played a full of himself yuppie who goes insane. Bale even admits that that movie was an inspiration for him.
15. Another major inspiration for Bale was a Tom Cruise interview with David Letterman. Bale remarked at how Cruise had this immense charm and politeness with smiles, but there was nothing behind his eyes.
16. Among the promotional materials was a set of emails you could receive from Patrick to his therapist.
17. Christian Bale did Patrick Bateman’s entire morning routine, as described, for the duration of filming.
18. Ranked #19 on Bloody Disgusting’s Top 20 Horror Movies of the 2000’s, right in between Cloverfield (#20) and The Devil’s Backbone (#18).
19. Its sequel has little to nothing to do with the original, and even star Mila Kunis claims that she thought it was its own movie, and that American Psycho 2 was added in post-production.
20. Back in 2013, a follow up TV series on FX was being planned, which would have continued the story. However, the project never made it past the development stage.
Bonus Fact: Christian Bale is known for his precision with accents, and kept his American accent for the duration of filming.
When the film finally wrapped, he reverted back to his Welsh accent for the wrap party, and many crew members were shocked to discover he wasn’t actually American. Though, his Welsh does come out a bit in the scenes where he’s screaming.
Which of these did you already know, which ones surprised you? Let us know in the comments below! And for more lists, reviews, rankings, and other fun horror content, follow Halloween Year-Round on Facebook and Twitter!