Christian Bale wrestled the role of Patrick Bateman in American Psycho from Leonardo DiCaprio after learning the young star had replaced him.
Bale had already started working out to perfect his look for the film when he discovered writer/director Mary Harron had handed over the reins to Oliver Stone and he had picked DiCaprio as his leading man.
The star tells WSJ Magazine, “I just pretended it didn’t happen. I’m English, so I never go to a gym, but for that role it was part of the whole deal that I had to go.
“I still kept going down to the gym every day because I was going, ‘Oh, I’m making the film’. I would call Mary Harron – she’d be having a nice dinner with her family – and I’d go, ‘So Mary, so when we do this scene…’ And she’d go, ‘Christian, Oliver Stone is directing, DiCaprio is playing your role’.
“I said, ‘Right, but you said it, my role, all right? It is coming back, so let’s talk about it, because it’s coming back to us.’ And she’d go, ‘Christian, can you please leave me alone?'”
But Bale’s perseverance paid off and the role did come back to him when Harron returned to the project as director.
Prior to Bateman’s casting, Johnny Depp, Edward Norton and Brad Pitt were also reportedly attached to portray the serial killer, while David Cronenberg was linked to the directing job.