Christian Bale’s ‘American Psycho’ Co-Star Once Felt His Acting Was ‘Bogus’

Christian Bale‘s work in the cult classic American Psycho was one of the most praised performances in his career. But recently, one co-star shared that he was skeptical about Bale’s acting.

How Christian Bale won over this ‘American Psycho’ co-star

Christian Bale sitting down as his 'American Psycho' character Patrick Bateman.
Christian Bale | Eric Robert / Getty Images

Bale did a lot of research and preparation to slip into the role of Patrick Bateman. But not everyone was entirely on board with the results of Bale’s work. Initially, some of his co-stars didn’t know what he was doing, and thought he might’ve been too over the top. In an interview with MovieMaker (via Yahoo), Bale shared what his co-star Josh Lucas and some others thought about his work.

“Josh Lucas and I did a film together recently and he opened my eyes to something that I had been unaware of,” Bale said. “He informed me that all of the other actors thought that I was the worst actor they’d ever seen. He was telling me they kept looking at me and talking about me, saying, ‘Why did Mary fight for this guy? He’s terrible.’ And it wasn’t until he saw the film that he changed his mind. And I was in the dark completely about that critique.”

In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Lucas revisited those feelings again. He delved a little deeper into why he wasn’t a fan of Bale’s performance back then, and what eventually changed his mind.

“I remember the first scene I did with him, I watched him and he seemed so false — and I now realize that it was this just f***ing brilliant choice that he was making. That was an actor who was at such a completely different level already, and that he was capable of having these crazy layers going on in what he was doing. I thought it was bogus acting at the time, but was exactly the opposite,” Lucas said.

How Christian Bale’s ‘American Psycho’ co-stars reacted to his method acting

As he did with many of his movies, Bale took a very stern and dedicated approach when it came to his performance. But this proved a bit difficult to work around for some of Bale’s castmates. Chloe Sevigny, who played Bale’s secretary in the film, felt Bale’s approach clashed with her own looser personality.

“I’m very gregarious and silly and goofy, unbeknownst to the general public,” Sevigny said about working with Bale. “When people take themselves so seriously, I kind of shut down, even though I take my work very seriously and I love acting and whatnot. I was really intimidated by his process and intimidated by him, and I wanted a little more generosity to make myself feel more at ease, which is my own ego.”

“It was a really challenging dynamic for me, but I don’t think that I thought he was bad,” she continued. “I was just kind of confused, like, ‘Why aren’t you being social?’ I wasn’t even that aware of what the Method thing was. I never had any formal training; I think I was just kind of ‘fake it until you make it.’ But the whole Method thing, I was like, What even is this approach? It was very intimidating.”

Sevigny also found Bale’s dedication impressive considering what she knew of his background.

“It’s kind of surprising that Christian would be emotionally invested the way he is, because he was a child actor,” Sevigny said. “It’s not like he studied in college and then became this Method-y, Brando-y kind of thing. He found this journey from being a child actor to then an adult actor that I think is a really interesting trajectory, and I’m curious about that.”

Lucas held similar sentiments. When he understood what Bale was doing, he didn’t mind Bale’s method acting after a while. Lucas even found Bale one of the more pleasant method actors he’d ever worked with.

“There’s a really weird bridge, as you know, between bad Method actors—who I find really, really terrible to work with—and the ones like Christian, [who’s] not paying attention to f***ing anything else but what he’s doing. I have nothing but admiration for that, because a lot of Method actors are actually kind of distracting with the fact that their process is more important than anything or anybody else,” Lucas said.

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