I SWITCH ON MY TAPE RECORDER BY SONY and dial a number on the Panasonic telephone (line by British Telecommunications). While waiting for an answer on the other side of the Atlantic. l sip tea by Tetley and munch confectionery by Mars.
Stop there: it's just not the same when the brand names aren't Armani. Brooks Brothers and Oliver Peoples. Back in the 80s. a hierarchy of designer labels separated the masters of the universe from the man in the street. As a mark of quality. they were
irrelevant: but as an ostentatious display of
wealth. they loudly made the link between money and status.
Nowhere is this clearer than in Bret Easton Ellis's infamous novel. Amcrican Psycho. Published in 1991 to uproar among critics and
public alike. the book dipped into the mind of
Wall Street yuppie Patrick Bateman. as be wasted his working hours obsessing over his
Christian Bale snatched the lead role in AMERICAN PSYCHO from Leonardo DiCaprio only to wind up friendless on the streets of Toronto for taking method acting too far.
Words: Alan Morrison
makes you sound an feature filn arrogant liar/ml. . was deteimi pI'ICk, SO psychotic b physique and which restaurant to nobod be perfectl be seen in. lillis’s satirical take on y year-old W 80s materialism was barbed. bttt wanted to Bale. still b
this was overlooked by the book‘s detractors. who saw only pages of sickening violence. with Bateman taking out his frustrations on the fragile flesh of friends. colleagues and casual acquaintances.
Any screen version of what was quickly deemed an ‘unfilmable' novel was always going to be a controversy magnet. Yet this is exactly what director Mary Harron reckoned would form the perfect follow-up to her
Christian Bale as the psychotic boy next door
hang out with
who salute pilots in Si 'l'hc Sun.
'I hadn admits Bale in his Californian home. was an analysis of a seri an analysis of the 80s worst. as well as being manners. Bateman is in but he‘s not solely miso« he kills bloody everythir He is such a despicable character and I didn't attempt to make him redeeming in the slightest. You can laugh at him. but it's never laughing with him.’
Not. you'd assume. the kind of person every actor would want to get on intimate terms with. But Bale was more determined than most: he'd seen the project taken out of llarron‘s hands when. early in 1098. she’d refused to indulge the producers’ whims and cast Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead. For a while. Oliver Stone was rumoured to be taking over the director's chair: though what could he add that hadn't already been said in Wall 511'ch and Natural Born Kil/crs"? llarron stuck by her first choice and. when l.eo passed in favour of 'l'hc Bcach. she and Bale came back on board. Bale remains complimentary towards DiCaprio. btit he knows where he stands. ‘II was my bloody part.' he says. ‘and I didn‘t want anybody taking it.‘
liventually filming got underway in (‘anada and. although it drew flak from local protesters. Bale reckons this was one of the most relaxed sets he‘d ever worked on. lixcept for one caffeine-fuelled day. 'l’d had to fly to New York and then to LA over the weekend. so I literally hadn’t slept.’ he remembers. ‘I arrived at (tam in 'l‘oronto. drove straight to the