This cult classic is in the news again, more so because of director Mary Harron's comments about Tom Cruise. But that surely brings up an interesting point … how about some more interesting trivia about American Psycho?
A brief summary of the movie is in order. American Psycho is the movie adaptation of the creepy depiction of consumerism portrayed in Bret Easton Ellis' novel which has same name as the movie. It follows the story of a freakishly unemotional businessman called Patrick Bateman as he goes about on a covert killing spree. The whole point of the story is acting as a satire about the money-nubbing materialist culture that had become the norm in the 1980s.
Now for some fun facts:
This was the movie that made Christian Bale stand out. He had been part of a number of noteworthy projects before that (hello Velvet Goldmine) but this was the movie that made folks sit up and take notice of Bale. Bateman's character was a complex one and Bale's performance certainly showcased the actor's talent.
While we are on the topic of Bale blending into Bateman's character, here's a thought for you. According to Mary Harron, Bale had a tough time portraying the character until they hit upon an unlikely source of inspiration – Tom Cruise. Seems like a Cruise interview depicted just the type of look they were going for. Now that you mention it …
Speaking of leads for the role, there were a number of names mentioned as a good 'Bateman'. This included Johnny Depp, Edward Norton as well as Leonardo DiCaprio. In fact, IMDB mentions that director Mary Harron was upset when DiCaprio was reeled in/mentioned as the perfect fit as she was quite happy with Bale. Here's where it gets weird. Feminist icon Gloria Steinem was protesting against the Titanic star being part of this movie, you know given his teen heart throb status. Actually, she was supposed to be quite opposed to the book and not just the movie. Thus, when DiCaprio say sense in the argument and bowed out, Bale and Harron were back in the game. It's not that weird but a lot of folks did note that Steinem was dating, and quite soon, married Bale's father.
What could Steinem have been opposed to, in the book and in the movie? I don't know for sure but do note a lot of people were freaked out by the graphic violence and degeneration of moral code that was depicted in the flick. And that wasn't just the focus on the money or the cold-hearted dealings or the mindless sex acts. To a large extent, the whole 'look inside yourself' sort of questioning unnerved a lot of viewers. And to segue to the topic of sex scenes, the movie got into trouble for its scenes. Actually, the people behind the movie was fighting for a different rating than NC-17. What's funny here is the fact that the main objection was either about the sex position or the expression on the woman's face. Er, right; just talk seems tame by modern standards.
Finally, let me say this for clarity's sake – were all the murders committed by Bateman? Yea, it was not in his head. Bateman did hack away at his victims in cold blood. He did snuff out their lives in the most horrid way imaginable. I mention this because, for some weird reason, people think that all the gruesome killings was imagined by Bateman and thus, didn't happen. So persistent is the rumor that the screenplay writer, Guinevere Turner, has even gone on record to say that “Yes, Bateman did murder all those folks!”