Chloë Sevigny and Christian Bale may be a beloved onscreen duo from “American Psycho,” but the actress says she found it “challenging” to work alongside Bale.

Sevigny, who played the secretary to Bale’s surreal serial killer Patrick Bateman, told Vanity Fair that the ensemble cast on the 2000 feature all had different acting approaches.

“I feel like there was so much build-up around ‘American Psycho,’” Sevigny recalled. “Remember Leo [DiCaprio] was attached for a minute, and then he fell out for whatever reason? I didn’t know it was going to become what it did and have the legs that it has had.”

As for working with Bale, she added, “I was trying to respect his process, which I found challenging because I’m very gregarious and silly and goofy, unbeknownst to the general public. When people take themselves so seriously, I kind of shut down, even though I take my work very seriously and I love acting and whatnot. I was really intimidated by his process and intimidated by him, and I wanted a little more generosity to make myself feel more at ease, which is my own ego.”

Bale decidedly did not bring a “silly and goofy” vibe to his own preparation and performance, which contrasted with Sevigny’s own more laissez-faire acting style.

“It was a really challenging dynamic for me, but I don’t think that I thought he was bad,” Sevigny said when referencing her’s and Bale’s co-star Josh Lucas‘ comment that he didn’t (at first) understand Bale’s take on the character. “I was just kind of confused, like, Why aren’t you being social? I wasn’t even that aware of what the Method thing was. I never had any formal training; I think I was just kind of ‘fake it until you make it.’ But the whole Method thing, I was like, What even is this approach? It was very intimidating.”

Lucas, in the joint interview, had just stated that he initially thought Bale to be a bad actor because of the off-kilter way he played Bateman.

Sevigny eventually credited Bale for really embodying unhinged ’80s Wall Street broker Bateman…well, as much as he (legally) could.

“It’s kind of surprising that Christian would be emotionally invested the way he is, because he was a child actor,” she said. “It’s not like he studied in college and then became this Method-y, Brando-y kind of thing. He found this journey from being a child actor to then an adult actor that I think is a really interesting trajectory, and I’m curious about that.”

Lucas agreed, saying that Bale fully embodied what the prestige of Method acting is all about.

“There’s a really weird bridge, as you know, between bad Method actors — who I find really, really terrible to work with — and the ones like Christian, [who is] not paying attention to fucking anything else but what he’s doing,” Lucas said. “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.”

Bale is next set to be playing the Frankenstein monster turned groom in Maggie Gyllenhaal’s “The Bride!” Let’s hope he doesn’t screw real bolts into his neck.

Oscar winner Bale previously told The Hollywood Reporter that because he never “properly” studied acting, each role presents a new challenge.

“On every single film, I think to myself, ‘Oh God, what have I done? How did I get myself into this again? They’re going to realize that I’ve got no idea what I’m doing,’” Bale said. “But I think that’s why I’m still interested in doing it because I don’t really have any technique. People always say, ‘Oh, he’s a Method actor,’ but I’m not a Method actor because that takes studying. I just do whatever I feel like I’ve got to do on the day.”

Leave a comment