Christian Bale Wasn’t Sure American Psycho Was Supposed to Be Funny

American Psycho
Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman in American Psycho

When director and co-writer Mary Harron first sent Christian Bale the script for American Psycho, he didn’t know much about it — except that it was based on a Bret Easton Ellis novel that made people mad.

“I had no idea what to expect. I had not read the book at that time. I had heard of the controversy, people calling for it to be banned, and I was not expecting what I read,” Bale told MovieMaker for an oral history of the film in 2020. “As I read it, I was exploding with laughter. And I didn’t know if that was Mary’s intent.”

Bale proceeded with caution: “I spoke with her on the phone, and I said, ‘I’ve just got to get this over with, because this might end our conversation and insult you. But I find this to be one of the most ridiculous and hilarious scripts.’ And she went, ‘Bingo. That’s it. Please fly out to meet me.’”

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