Tom Cruise inspired Christian Bale’s American Psycho performance

Christian Bale was inspired by a Tom Cruise interview with David Letterman when preparing to play Patrick Bateman in American Psycho

Christian Bale in American Psycho

It’s been 22 years since Christian Bale delivered arguably his best performance – in Mary Harron’s serial killer horror movie American Psycho. Bale plays Patrick Bateman – an 80s yuppie who is obsessed with perfection, especially when it comes to his business cards. But beneath his extra-smooth veneer, he hides a dark secret.

In 2009, director Mary Harron revealed in an interview that Bale was inspired by watching a Tom Cruise interview with David Letterman when preparing to play Patrick Bateman [Via Vulture] “It was definitely a process. We talked a lot, but he [Bale] was in L.A. and I was in New York. We didn’t actually meet in person a lot, just talked on the phone. We talked about how Martian-like Patrick Bateman was, how he was looking at the world like somebody from another planet, watching what people did and trying to work out the right way to behave.”

“And then one day he called me and he had been watching Tom Cruise on David Letterman, and he just had this very intense friendliness with nothing behind the eyes, and he was really taken with this energy.”

Oddly enough, the Harron interview was in October 2009. But in July 2009, Tom Cruise impersonator Miles Fisher uploaded a music video of himself onto YouTube. In the video, he performs a cover version of Talking Heads’ This Must Be Place as Patrick Bateman, but it’s a very Cruisey Bateman. Fisher recreates some of the best-known moments from American Psycho, such as peeling a face mask off, and dancing in a plastic raincoat with an axe.

Bale would of course go onto be cast as Batman in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy and won an Oscar in 2010 for The Fighter. Cruise has been mostly working in action movies for the last decade. Alongside many impossible missions, he’s also starred in Jack Reacher, Edge of Tomorrow, and The Mummy. This year saw the release of Cruise’s biggest hit of his career – Top Gun: Maverick.

Find out where Christian Bale came in our guide to the best Batman actors, ranked.