The movie adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’ ”American Psycho” began generating buzz long before it landed at the Sundance Film Festival with a naughty NC-17 rating last week. Controversy flared in 1998 when Leonardo DiCaprio took a shine to the project, causing the producers of ”Psycho” to temporarily bump actor Christian Bale from the title role. But DiCaprio says he was never serious about taking the project. ”I have found that 90 percent of what I have read about me is a mutated version of reality and unbelievably blown out of proportion,” the 25-year-old star said while promoting his new movie, ”The Beach” (opening Feb. 11).
True, DiCaprio’s curiosity was piqued by the script, which follows a businessman with a bloodthirsty streak. ”I liked the idea of that demented sort of character being put in an ’80s highbrow environment,” he says. ”But eventually I realized it didn’t amount to anything, it didn’t mean anything to me, and it was nothing that I really cared about when all was said and done.”
Unfortunately, Lions Gate Films wasn’t told about DiCaprio’s doubts before announcing to the press that the star had joined the project. ”All I did was read the script and express interest in it, but because that was during the whole hot-air balloon of ‘Titanic’ media it became something bigger than what it was,” he sighs. Gee, we thought the only hot-air balloon of ”Titanic” media was James Cameron.