Once upon a time, in the 90s, Christian Bale and Leonardo DiCaprio were considered the most talented actors in Hollywood. And in the end, all expectations turn out to be justified, because both of them have remarkable careers to date.
However, in a recent interview with GQ, Bale admitted that his colleague’s career was more successful, and he himself owed his own to DiCaprio turning down roles.
“Look, to this day every role someone gets is only because they turned it down,” Bale says in a joking tone. “It doesn’t matter what they tell you. It doesn’t matter how friendly you are with the directors. All these people that I’ve worked with many times, they all offered every one of my roles to him first.”
However, the star from “Amsterdam” does not seem at all to be dissatisfied or claim it with envy – on the contrary.
“So, thank you, Leo,” says the actor, adding that DiCaprio is so good that he has the ability to choose whatever he wants. “It’s great for him, he’s phenomenal.”
In his career, Bale has been overlooked more than once at the expense of his colleague. However, he insists he never took it personally. This happened in the early stages of their careers when they cast DiCaprio in Why Gilbert Grape Is Sad and A Boy’s Life.
The same thing happens in “Titanic”.
There, Bale auditioned for the lead role of Jack Dawson, but director James Cameron turned him down because he didn’t want to have two Brits in the lead roles (Bale is from Wales), given that Dawson’s character is American and the woman from England Kate Winslet is already engaged.
A few years later, DiCaprio almost got away with appearing in “American Psycho” in the role of serial killer Patrick Bateman, which subsequently became one of Bale’s most iconic.
The original idea of the director Mary Harron was to use Bale, but at that time the company Lion’s Gate, whose project the film is, wanted DiCaprio to be cast in the role, since at that time he had just finished “Titanic” and it was the most current Hollywood star.
He was even reported to be in attendance when the film was first announced at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival.
This happens without Harron’s approval, and she leaves the project, as she has strong feelings for Bale. Oliver Stone was hired as her replacement, and he began reworking the script to better suit DiCaprio, but this option did not sit well with Lion’s Gate executives, who clashed with the director.
Finally, Stone and Leo leave, and Harron is back at the helm with Bale.
Years later, the screenwriter of “American Psycho” Guinevere Turner told in an interview with Variety that Bale’s stepmother – Gloria Steinem – may have had a role in the whole story.
“A friend of mine who spoke to Gloria told me that she took Leonardo DiCaprio to a New York Yankees game,” Guinevere said.
“I think she told him something like, ‘Don’t do this movie. You just finished Titanic and right now there’s a whole planet of 13-year-old girls waiting to see what you’re going to do. Does it have to be a movie with so much horrific violence against women.”
Leo left soon after, so who knows what really happened?”
What would American Psycho be without Christian Bale?
As we know, Bale does not fail to take advantage of the opportunity that has arisen and played in a truly exceptional way the role that shot him to the top.
“Mary Harron was the only one who wanted me to participate,” says the actor, adding that it affected his pay. “They paid me the absolute minimum they were legally allowed to pay me. I remember one time I was sitting in the makeup room and the makeup artists were joking that they were making more money than me.”
Throughout their careers, Bale and DiCaprio have never starred together in the same film.
Perhaps the reason lies precisely in the fact that the two in most cases are considered options for the same role.
Bale doesn’t have a problem with that, though, and even jokes that probably every actor around DiCaprio’s age has him to thank for their career.