Caffeinated Clint Greats : Interview Series

What is Caffeinated Clint’s Greats?
I’ve had plenty of emails from you guys asking such questions as “Who were your favourite actors growing up?”, “Do you have a favourite movie?”, “You’re producing films now, any particular film that inspired you to take that road?” and “Hey man, Got Kristen Stewart’s phone number?”, and it gave my an idea – why not profile some of my favourite films? (It saves me from flaming a pimply, unintelligent publicist or another fresh-from-junior-high exec over some harebrained remake he’s just greenlit for a couple of weeks, after all) and in doing so, why not make contact with some of the people from these films?

Today’s Favourite Film Profiled :

Title : American Psycho
Year : 2001
Director : Mary Harron
Starring : Christian Bale, Jared Leto, Reese Witherspoon, Chloe Sevigny, Josh Lucas

”I think we (Mary Harron and I) made the film we wanted to”, star Christian Bale says of the feature film adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’ phenomenal book. ”Unfortunately, in the US, there was all this silly business about the ratings so the US theatrical release was snipped over a couple sex scenes”. Bale was right; there was a lot of unripe comments floating around about “American Psycho” prior to its release – it was too dirty, too violent (Huey Lewis & The News asked for their song, Hip to be Square, to be removed from the soundtrack because they’d ‘heard’ it was a grisly picture) and, they said, not a shade on the book. As a consequence, the satirical thriller was heavily edited in some territories, and ultimately pushed through cinemas quicker than a Hoover. But like Bale, I loved what director Mary Harron did with “Psycho” – she distilled the humour from the book and create a script with a distinct point of view. And in my opinion, Bale has never been better – his Patrick Bateman is one of the most deliciously fun characters of the past ten years.I’ve returned to “American Psycho” many times, and aren’t planning on packing the DVD away in my “probably won’t watch these movies again in a hurry” cabinet any time soon.

Q&A with Christian Bale

Not only is Christian Bale one of the best in the business – he’s also a long-time supporter of Moviehole. Bale and I have been conversing for the best part of a decade now – and I tell ya, it’s an absolute joy seeing the British born actor go from, well, rags to riches. Yet even though Bale is now headling such pricey blockbusters as “The Dark Knight” and “The Prestige”, I still think his performance as Patrick Bateman (in “American Psycho”) is the one he’ll be remembered for.

Caffeinated Clint : Do you think “American Psycho” revived your career?

Christian Bale : It definitely helped, man. Before American Psycho, I was mostly offered costume dramas and I felt I was headed to Merchant Ivorydom.

Caffeinated Clint : Not that there’s anything wrong with that [Laughs]

Christian Bale : Yeah, but after American Psycho, I get more American roles, darker roles and physical roles. American Psycho has become my calling card in many ways. I am forever in Mary Harron’s debt!

Caffeinated Clint : Is it true Roger Avary asked you to reprise Patrick Bateman for “Rules of Attraction”?

Christian Bale : Yeah, but I’m very loyal to Mary Harron – she wrote and directed American Psycho. I felt that her Bateman – our Bateman – was in his entirety in the first film. I’ve been offered a number of cameos as Bateman in other related films and I felt that it would be a disservice to take the character out of the context we had developed.

Caffeinated Clint : How did you get the gig in “Empire of the Sun” all those years ago? Just a straight-up audition was it?

Christian Bale : I auditioned with 4000 other actors for the role of James Graham. One day, I was invited to meet Spielberg so they flew my Dad and me to Los Angeles – we were living in England at the time. I read for him and they told me I got the part. I’ll never forget how excited I was!

Caffeinated Clint : You’re good friends with an Aussie, Toni Collette..

Christian Bale : Toni and I are good friends, yeah. We previously worked together in the film Velvet Goldmine. She’s part of the reason I did Shaft.

Caffeinated Clint : Oh yes, forgot about “Shaft”…

Christian Bale : Shaft was a major studio production. Something new for me. I got to spend four months in New York and work with Samuel L. Jackson – not too shabby!

Caffeinated Clint : Now You’ve been an actor a lot longer than you’ve been a star. With the current TMZ culture, are you concerned about it distracting people from your characters, on screen? Does it distract from your performance?

Christian Bale: Not for me, it doesn’t, because I don’t know what things are being said, or what gossipy stuff is going on. My life is much happier when I ignore that. As for other people, that’s their choice. If they want to embrace that, then they’re going to sacrifice enjoyment in the movies. I really believe that. But, it’s their choice, if that’s what they love looking at. I don’t get it, but it is what it is.

Caffeinated Clint : Final word on ”American Psycho”?

Christian Bale : I think we made the film we wanted to do.