Perhaps his portrayal of the somewhat hilarious homicidal yuppie Patrick Bateman in ‘American Psycho’ be one of the most iconic works of the career of a Christian bale that has already surprised us in front of the cameras on countless occasions. Nevertheless, the genius projected on the screen was not directly proportional to the salary which the British received in the Mary Harron film.
A priceless job
Bale’s experience in the production was not exactly a bed of roses. As he told in an interview with G.Q., she had to fight hard to win the role, Harron being the only one who supported her candidacy; however, tenacity —or insistence— ended up placing the ax and chainsaw in his hands.
“No one wanted me to do it except the director. So they said I could only do it if they paid me that much. I was preparing for it when there were other people playing the part. I kept preparing for it. And, you know, it went ahead. I lost the head, but I got it back.”
But this duel between distrustful actors, directors and producers is usually the order of the day. What is more surprising is the fact that the interpreter received an amount well below what would be expected and that even provoked mockery from the makeup team; something especially hard to digest given the delicate situation of Bale and his family at the time.
“Honestly, the first thing was that it took me a long time to try to do it, and they paid me the absolute minimum that they were legally allowed. And I had a house that I shared with my father and sister that was being repossessed. So the first thing was, ‘ Holy shit, I need to get some money,’ because I finished American Psycho, but I remember one time I was sitting in the makeup trailer and the makeup artists were laughing at me because I was paid less than any of them. So that was my motivation. after this, just ‘I have to get enough so we don’t get repossessed’.”
Also, jokingly, revealed who was one of the heavyweights he had to fight to become Bateman —not Batman, that came later—: none other than Leonardo DiCaprio.
“It’s not just me. Look, to this day, if someone gets a role it’s because [Leo] rejected it earlier. It doesn’t matter what others tell you. It doesn’t matter how well you get along with the directors. All the people I’ve worked with multiple times have offered you each of those roles before, okay? One of those people told me, so thank you Leo, because he literally gets to choose everything he does. Good for him, he’s phenomenal.”
Fortunately, the stars aligned and one of the great thrillers and one of the best literary adaptations from the end of the last century.
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“The makeup artists were laughing at me.” Christian Bale’s salary in ‘American Psycho’ did not live up to his iconic work