Chloë Sevigny Recalls 'American Psycho' Co-Star Christian Bale Being 'Intimidating' On Set

Chloë Sevigny is sharing just how “intimidating” her “American Psycho” co-star was on set.

The actor recently sat down with Vanity Fair to discuss the 2000 film, in which Christian Bale played a murderous investment banker with a commitment she’d never seen before. While his method acting has since become legend, Sevigny found it “challenging” on set.

“I was really intimidated by his process and intimidated by him,” she told the outlet. “And I wanted a little more generosity to make myself feel more at ease, which is my own ego. It was a really challenging dynamic for me, but I don’t think that I thought he was bad.”

“I was just kind of confused, like, ‘Why aren’t you being social?’” Sevigny continued.

Sevigny was 25 years old when she was cast in the controversial adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’ novel and “wasn’t even aware” of method acting — a technique Bale used to fully immerse himself in the icy role. She took a “fake it until you make it” approach herself, she said.

The source material itself was famously protested at the time of its 1991 publication due to the relentless racism, misogyny and sexual violence of its protagonist Patrick Bateman. While Bale brilliantly mined the nihilism of his character, not everyone saw his vision on set.

“I actually truly remember thinking that Christian Bale was terrible,” co-star Josh Lucas told the outlet. “I remember the first scene I did with him, I watched him and he seemed so false — and I now realize that it was this just fucking brilliant choice that he was making.”

Chloë Sevigny and Christian Bale at the 2000 premiere of
Chloë Sevigny and Christian Bale at the 2000 premiere of "American Psycho." Steve Azzara/Corbis/Getty Images

Bale had yet to become a star but grabbed “American Psycho” by the horns. The Welshman not only used his faux American accent in interviews, but could purportedly break into a sweat on cue while filming — and endured a rigorous exercise routine for the role.

While some method actors might take the approach too far, Lucas was truly impressed.

“[He’s] not paying attention to fucking anything else but what he’s doing,” he told the outlet. “I have nothing but admiration for that, because a lot of Method actors are actually kind of distracting with the fact that their process is more important than anything or anybody else.”

“I thought it was bogus acting at the time,” added Lucas, “but was exactly the opposite.”