American Psycho is a satirical psychological horror film released in 2000. It stars Christian Bale as Patrick Batemen who received immense praises for his performance. What fans might not be aware of is that, Academy Award-winner Leonardo DiCaprio was approached for Bale’s character but refused it. Read to know the reason and more-
According to a report in a daily, the production company was not convinced that Christian Bale was a big enough star to carry the film. They recognized Edward Norton as a fitting replacement, but the executives sent the script to Leonardo DiCaprio with a $20 million offer. At that time, Titanic (1997) was not even released, but the buzz around the movie and the box office success of Leo’s Romeo + Juliet (1996) created his hype in Hollywood. DiCaprio was interested in the role which surprised the makers. Coincidentally, Bale earlier lost the lead in Titanic to Leo.
However, the director of the film, Mary Harron, reportedly thought Leonardo DiCaprio was not the right choice for the role. She considered him a little too boyish to portray a crazy investment banker and also that his idol image might grab the wrong type of audiences to the movie. Harron stated that as soon as she did not want to comprise her position, Lionsgate (film’s distributor) wanted her out. Leo made his own list of director, which reportedly had Martin Scorsese, but Oliver Stone was attached to the project taken on Harron’s job.
Oliver Stone's version of American Psycho would have starred James Woods as Donald Kimball (initially played by William Dafoe) and Cameron Diaz as Evelyn Williams (initially played by Reese Witherspoon). However, in the end, both Leonardo DiCaprio and Oliver Stone dropped out of the project with Christian Bale and Mary Harron coming back in their spot. The reason remains a mystery but is speculated that feminist icon, Gloria Steinem might have played a massive part in it.
American Psycho was based on Bret Easton Ellis’ 1991 novel of the same name. Gloria Steinem found the novel offensive towards women and had protested against the film from the beginning. In a report by a daily, the film’s co-writer, Guinevere Turner said that Steinem may have personally interrupted The Revenant stars’ participation.
Turner said that her friend, who spoke to Gloria Steinem, revealed that the latter took Leonardo DiCaprio to a Yankees game, she believes, and said, “Please don’t do this movie.” She added that Steinem told Leo that coming off of Titanic, there is an entire planet full of 13-year-old girls wanting to see what he does next, and American Psycho is going to be a movie that has horrible violence toward women. Soon after that, Leo left the project, so who knows what really happened? Guinevere Turner concluded. Leonardo DiCaprio appeared in The Beach (2000) after dropping out of American Psycho.
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