Christian Bale’s American Psycho Salary Was Lower Than Makeup Artists
Bale said “the make-up artists laughed at me because I was paid less than any of them”.
It’s almost psychotic to think that Christian Bale made pennies on the dollar compared to his collaborators on “American Psycho.”
Bale’s iconic role as yuppie-turned-serial-killer Patrick Bateman is solely due to director Mary Harron’s vision for Bale in the role – after Leonardo DiCaprio turned him down.
“Nobody wanted me to do it except the director. So they said they would only do it if they could pay me that amount,” Bale said in a QG cover story. “I was preparing for it when other people were playing the role. I was still preparing for it. And, you know, it evolved. I lost my mind. But I won it back.”
Bale continued: “In all honesty, the first thing was that I had taken so long trying to do it, and they had paid me the absolute minimum that they were legally allowed to pay me. And I had a house that I shared with my dad and sister that was being repossessed. So the first thing was, ‘Holy shit. I have to earn some money’, because I finished ‘American Psycho’, but I remember one time sitting in the makeup trailer and the makeup artists were laughing at me because I was being paid less than any of them. And so that was my motivation after that, it was just, ‘I gotta have enough so the house doesn’t get taken over.
Bale joked that many rising stars of the 1990s and early 2000s have DiCaprio to thank for their respective careers, as the “Titanic” actor was originally wanted for Bateman in “American Psycho.”
“It’s not just me. Look, to this day, any role anyone gets, it’s only because [Leo] forwarded beforehand,” Bale said. “It doesn’t matter what anyone tells you. It doesn’t matter how friendly you are with the directors. All these people that I worked with many times, they all offered him each of these roles first. Right? One of those people told me that. So thank you, Leo, because he literally gets to choose whatever he does. And good for him, he’s phenomenal.
The ‘Amsterdam’ actor and four-time Oscar nominee said, “Do you know how grateful I am to get anything? I mean, I can’t do what he does. I wouldn’t want the exposure he has either. And he does it beautifully. But I would suspect that almost everyone his age in Hollywood owes their careers to him passing on any project.
In fact, it was actually Bale’s stepmother Gloria Steinem (before she married Bale’s father in September 2000) who allegedly encouraged DiCaprio to turn down “American Psycho.” The film’s co-writer Guinevere Turner revealed during an oral history for the feature film’s 20th anniversary that Steinem said DiCaprio shouldn’t follow his role as “Titanic” heartthrob for a film that has “horrific violence towards the women”.