“American Psycho” is enjoying new life thanks to the Broadway musical based on Bret Easton Ellis’ satirical novel, itself the basis for a cult film directed by Mary Harron. In a New York Times video from the newspaper’s “Anatomy of a Scene” series, Harron provides a director’s commentary from the famous business-card scene.
In it, star Christian Bale is flanked by Jared Leto, Justin Theroux Josh Lucas and other actors all sporting nearly identical suits and haircuts. Underscoring one of the book’s (and, by extension, film’s) main points: that in a society this superficial, you could literally be a psychopathic murderer without anybody noticing as long as you wear the right suit, have the right job and otherwise fit in. Harron describes the characters’ attempts to one-up each other as “a military exercise, but it’s being played out in business cards.”
Somewhat surprisingly given the films’ respective reputations, “American Psycho” isn’t Ellis’ favorite adaptation of one of his novels — the writer says he’s always had a soft spot for Roger Avary’s take on “The Rules of Attraction.”