Christian Bale Had the Best Response to Post-American Psycho Internet Threats

Christian Bale Had the Best Response to Post-American Psycho Internet Threats
Image credit: globallookpress

People have pretty extreme reactions to controversial films, and Christian Bale's American Psycho was one of the most controversial films ever made.

It got him a few threats, but he had an incredible response to one of them.

American Psycho was a 2000 surreal slasher film featuring Bale as Patrick Bateman, a New York banker who obsesses over his status and looks, has an intense sex life, and also happens to be a bloodthirsty serial killer.

His killings were portrayed as black comedy, with most of the gruesome murder scenes bordering on the absurd.

In maybe the most famous scene, he casually talks to his soon-to-be victim about Huey Lewis and the News before letting out a guttural scream and chopping him up with an axe. He eventually confesses, only to realize that his murders were all imaginary.

American Psycho was labeled a psychological thriller and satire, but people critical of the film called it escapism for fans who want to commit the same acts, but don't because of societal norms.

Bale recently talked about the times he'd been threatened on the street by people who objected to the film. One threat in particular made him chuckle.

A friend had called him up, warning that a "crazy person" knew where Bale walked every day. They knew the alley he always went down, and the friend warned Bale against going down that alley.

They said they were going to hide in that back alley, jump Bale, and "rip out [his] cerebral cortex."

Bale said, "Of course, I was like, 'I'm going to that alley. I want to see what happens.'"He kept walking down that alley every day, but nothing ever happened – which he said was "unfortunate."

It seems odd that someone who objected to a film due to gratuitous violence threatened its star with gratuitous violence – but Bale's reaction was absolutely perfect, albeit a little crazy.

The film was based on Bret Easton Ellis' 1991 novel that he considered "unfilmable" because of its graphic sex and violence. The film rights were bought the following year.

Mary Harron was the writer and director; she was adamant from the start that Bale should be the film's star. The studio preferred Leonardo DiCaprio, so they fired Harron and brought on Oliver Stone.

Stone and DiCaprio both left due to creative differences, leading the studio to bring back Harron and, in turn, cast Bale as their star.

This was Bale's breakout movie, and he's been an A-list celebrity ever since. He was praised not just for his ability to portray violent insanity, but also the stone-cold "mask of sanity" that he wore every day.