OXYGEN | IT BOY – CHRISTIAN BALE – NOT AMERICAN. NOT A PSYCHO
Why him? Because he took on Hollywood’s hottest honey, Leonardo DiCaprio, and won. Christian had already been cast as scary Patrick Bateman in the film version of American Psycho when Leo decided he wanted the part instead. Bale refused to give in: “I’m angry, very angry. It’s my project and I want to keep it that way,” he ranted. His determination was rewarded when, six months later, Leo became worried that the controversial role “might damage his popularity” and pulled out. Onward Christian!
Where have I seen him before? Despite looking like an ’80s American Bratpack boy – all chiselled features and perfect teeth – 26-year-old Christian is actually from Wales. He first came to our attention when, aged 13, he was plucked from 4,000 hopeful brats by Steven Spielberg to star in Empire Of The Sun. Since then he’s snogged Winona Ryder in Little Women, done much ruder stuff with Ewan McGregor in Velvet Goldmine and been arty in The Portrait of a Lady.
On being a child star: “At 15 I practically became a recluse. You need to be anonymous during your teenage years, to make mistakes and get into trouble. You don’t want attention, you want to tell everyone to stop looking. He hates being interviewed: “It’s important for an actor to have a certain amount of mystery. If you’ve just read some article about who the actor is sleeping with, that’s going to be in the back of your head while you’re watching the film.”
On Miss Right: “Nobody can deny that someone who’s talented is incredibly attractive, it doesn’t matter what they do, just that they set their mind so something and are very good at it. I also quite like women who are sort of off their heads.”
On American Psycho: “I know it’s not nice all the time, but you don’t always want to see The Waltons, do you?”
By Polly Hudson.