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Christian Bale reflects on dark reaction Wall Street bankers had to American Psycho

Christian Bale reflects on dark reaction Wall Street bankers had to American Psycho

Christian Bale played Patrick Bateman in American Psycho and as part of his prep for the role visited Wall Street

“Something horrible is happening inside of me and I don’t know why.” Many of us will associate those words with the morning after a particularly punchy jalfrezi.

But the book worms and film buffs among you will of course attribute the line to Patrick Bateman, the sociopathic star of both Bret Easton Ellis’ book, American Psycho, and Mary Harron’s movie of the same name. 

Christian Bale played Bateman in the latter and it’s considered by many to be his most iconic role to date. Bale absolutely nailed the axe-wielding fat cat capitalist that is Bateman, and in a new interview, revealed the dark reaction real life bankers had to the role. 

Christian Bale played Patrick Bateman in 2000's American Psycho.
Moviestore Collection Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

Breaking down his most iconic roles for GQ, Bale opened up about how he prepared for the role, saying that he actually visited a Wall Street trading floor. 

Bateman is of course a ruthless member of Wall Street’s corporate elite, and his nihilistic tendencies go pretty much unnoticed by his colleagues, who seem too wrapped up in their own cash-chasing to notice Bateman’s gruesome behaviour. 

Bale called his Wall Street visit worrying, explaining: “I went and visited [the Wall Street trading floors], you know, all different levels of people at Wall Street, but the guys on the trading floor, when I arrived there before making the film, I got there and a bunch of 'em, they were going ‘oh yeah, we love Patrick Bateman’.”

The actor went on: “And I was like, ‘yeah, ironically, right?’, and they were like, ‘what do you mean?’ So it was always worrying even back then.”

Bale called his Wall Street visit 'worrying'.
hoto 12 / Alamy Stock Photo

He added: “But you know, clearly, look, it's a satire on capitalism in the 80s and as such is so bloody far fetched and ridiculous that you know, to me, I can't help but think it's hilarious.”

Bale also spoke in depth about some of his other famous roles, notably the 2004 psychological thriller, The Machinist, directed by Brad Anderson.

For the part, Bale lost a whopping four stone, and this week reflected: "The main point was that somehow losing all the physical weight put all the energy into my brain and so I only slept two hours a night and all I wanted to do was read. 

“And so I would just sit and read endlessly and I found that I could read without stopping or moving or needing a distraction. I could just sit and read for 10 hours straight without moving a muscle."

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Featured Image Credit: Matt Crossick / LANDMARK MEDIA / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Film and TV, Celebrity