OTTplay Logo
settings icon
profile icon

Leonardo DiCaprio was announced as American Psycho’s lead and not Christian Bale - Did you know about the chaos that took place?

Christian Bale gave an iconic performance in American Psycho but did you know Leonardo DiCaprio was also in the race? 

Leonardo DiCaprio was announced as American Psycho’s lead and not Christian Bale - Did you know about the chaos that took place?
American Psycho Trivia

Last Updated: 04.04 PM, Jun 01, 2024


The way the world of cinema continues to shock is both incredible and insane. American Psycho exemplifies this perfectly with its disturbingly satisfying narrative, starring the stellar Christian Bale and directed by the talented Mary Harron, both delivering their best work. It's hard to imagine anyone else in their roles, and decades later, suggesting otherwise might seem almost criminal. But what if we told you that back in the day when Lionsgate was Lion's Gate, the company first announced American Psycho with Leonardo DiCaprio at the Cannes Film Festival in 1998? 

Leonardo DiCaprio Was Announced as the Lead

Yes, you read that right. While Mary Harron was busy shaping the movie and eyeing Christian Bale for the lead role, the studio was looking for an actor as massive as Edward Norton. Meanwhile, Christian Bale was advised by everyone that choosing this movie would be career suicide. Amid this, the studio approached Leonardo DiCaprio with a reported $20 million paycheck and the script for American Psycho. They even announced him as the lead in the film at the Cannes Film Festival.


This left Christian Bale stunned and Mary Harron aghast, as she did not want Leonardo DiCaprio for that role. "When you're trying to get your film financed, you're up against a bunch of people who don't care anything about that," said Mary, as per The Guardian, taking a deep breath. "Most of the time, they don't care if the cast is appropriate or not, and movies have sunk like that. Like Demi Moore in The Scarlet Letter? Ridiculous.”

Despite being pressured by producer Ed Pressman to meet Leonardo DiCaprio and drop Christian Bale, Harron stood firm on her decision to keep Bale. "Leonardo wasn't remotely right [for the part]. There's something very boyish about him. He's not credible as one of these tough Wall Street guys,” she added. "He brought way too much baggage with him—I did not want to deal with someone who had a 13-year-old fan base. They shouldn't see the movie. It could've gotten us in a lot of trouble."

About American Psycho

We are happy that she stood firm on her decision. Not that Leonardo DiCaprio wouldn't have done justice, but now that we've seen Bale ace the part, it's hard to replace him. The 2000 film also stars Jared Leto in a pivotal role and is about a corporate serial killer who develops an uncontrollable bloodlust, which transforms him into a demon. You can watch American Psycho on Lionsgate Play with your OTTplay Premium subscription. 

Stay tuned to OTTplay for more information on this and everything else in the world of streaming and films.

Get the latest updates in your inbox