Then and Now: The Cast of ‘American Psycho’ 20 Years Later
Abandon all hope ye who enter here. That is the first line of Bret Easton Ellis’ pivotal 1991 novel, American Psycho. At the time of its release, it was one of the most controversial novels ever published. Telling the story of Wall Street yuppie and serial killer Patrick Bateman, the novel was violent, sexual and absolutely irresistible. Naturally, it wouldn’t be long before the novel was turned into a movie. While the film development began shortly after the novel’s release, it would be nine years before theatergoers experienced Patrick Bateman on the big screen.
Twenty years ago, the film adaptation of American Psycho was released unto the world, to generally rave reviews. It almost quadrupled its budget upon release and has since gone on to be a cult classic. This is rare for a movie that actually made money at the box office. Still, American Psycho is a glimpse into the world of New York City in the ‘80s, complete with cocaine in bathroom stalls, Huey Lewis and the News and death by chainsaw.
Directed by Mary Harron and cowritten with Guinevere Turner, this film was a tour de force for much of its cast. Christian Bale played Bateman. He was joined by an all-star cast featuring Willem Dafoe, Chloe Sevigny, and everybody’s favorite rock star, Jared Leto. Reese Witherspoon also stars. Everything about this film is great; from the source material to the biting screenplay to the direction. However, it is the cast that truly made the film. Now, 20 years later, we want to catch up with the who’s who of American Psycho. You’ve come this far, so keep reading because this is not an exit.
Cover Photo: Lionsgate Films
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Some argue that Bale's turn as Patrick Bateman is what earned him the attention of Christopher Nolan, who cast Bale as Batman in The Dark Knight trilogy. Obviously that was his biggest role, but Bale's filmography extends far beyond the cape and cowl. He has starred in films like The Machinist, The Big Short and Vice, where he played, as the title suggests, the vice president of the United States, Dick Cheney. Bale is one of Hollywood's elite, and many consider his role of Patrick Bateman as his coming-out party.
In American Psycho, Chloe Sevigny played Jane, the secretary-cum-potential love interest of Patrick Bateman. Jane had a significantly larger role in the novel, but Sevigny made the most out of her time in the film. Since then, Sevigny has gone on to appear in numerous films, mostly independent, as well as various television series, including two seasons of the hit American Horror Story. She has won multiple awards, including a Golden Globe, a Satellite award and an Independent Spirit Award. She also has a career in fashion and has even been labeled a fashion icon due to her unique style.
Guinevere Turner played a small role in American Psycho. She was an old friend of Patrick Bateman who almost gets murdered after an intense threesome. In real life, Turner was actually the cowriter of American Psycho, alongside Mary Harron. Since then, she has written and performed in a variety of independent films, including Preaching to the Perverted and Who's Afraid of Vagina Wolf. She wrote the critically-panned film BloodRayne, but much of that film's infamy is due to the directorial choices of Uwe Boll.
You may have heard of Reese Witherspoon. In addition to her role as Evelyn Williams in American Psycho, this then little-known actress has appeared in many films, such as Legally Blonde, Cruel Intentions, Fear, Sweet Home Alabama, Inherent Vice, Gone Girl and so many more. Witherspoon has enjoyed a phenomenal career, full of many highlights. She is one of Hollywood's elite and will remain that way to the end of her days. Currently, Witherspoon is set to star in and executive produce the Hulu miniseries Little Fires Everywhere.
Josh Lucas is somebody who you know you've seen in a lot of things, but never really knew his name. Lucas played the role of Timothy Price in American Psycho, but he is probably best known for his role opposite Reese Witherspoon (another American Psycho alum) in Sweet Home Alabama. Lucas also starred in films like A Beautiful Mind, Hulk and an updated version of Poseidon. Most recently, Lucas played a younger version of Kevin Costner's character in the television show Yellowstone.
Matt Ross is one of Hollywood's most underrated actors. Ross played Luis Carruthers in American Psycho and shortly thereafter played a significant role in the television miniseries Rose Red, written by Stephen King. Ross would go onto to have a flourishing television career, appearing in shows like Just Shoot Me, CSI and American Horror Story. Ross has also written and directed a number of films and short films.
As the bumbling, smarter-than-he-seems-or-is-he Detective Don Kimball in American Psycho, Willem Dafoe proved just how capable he is as an actor. In fact, Dafoe is much more than capable when it comes to acting; he's one of the best. Dafoe played The Green Goblin/Norman Osborne in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man films, but his filmography is full of fascinating, incredible roles. He has starred in films like Boondock Saints, Antichrist, The Fault in Our Stars, The Grand Budapest Hotel and so many more. Recently, Dafoe starred in Motherless Brooklyn and The Lighthouse, and received rave reviews for both. Dafoe, much like a fine wine, only gets better (crazier) with age.
Jared Leto is, somehow, both an underrated and an overrated performer, both as an actor and as a musician. As the frontman for the pop punk band 30 Seconds to Mars, Leto has enjoyed a very busy career. In addition to his rock star status, Leto has been a fixture in Hollywood for years. He played Paul Allen in American Psycho, but has gone onto greater fame with roles in Fight Club, Mr. Nobody, Blade Runner 2049 and more. He won an Academy Award for his portrayal of a trans woman in Dallas Buyer's Club and he played The Joker in the much-maligned Suicide Squad. Leto looks to regain his comic book cred with the upcoming Marvel/Sony movie Morbius, in which he plays the titular character. Most people don't like Jared Leto, but his career cannot be denied.