WEIRDLAND: Bret Easton Ellis, Ben Stiller, American Psycho and Zodiac

Monday, July 26, 2010

Bret Easton Ellis, Ben Stiller, American Psycho and Zodiac

"If you were casting an actor to play Ellis, on appearances the obvious choice would be Kiefer Sutherland, but when he talks he becomes surprisingly like Ben Stiller.Ben Stiller as Eddie in "The Heartbreak Kid" (2007)

His speech is slow and deliberate, conveying a faintly ironic impression of intimacy – but also the occasional suggestion of contempt, as if accommodating his interviewer's stupidity. Ben Stiller as Gaylord Focker in "Meet the Parents" (2000)

At other moments, though, he adopts the role of the dumb ingenue, affecting innocent incomprehension with faux naive, Stiller-ish mannerisms.
Ellis has just released his sixth novel, Imperial Bedrooms, which revisits the cast of his 1985 debut novel, Less Than Zero, and its narrator, Clay. Jake Gyllenhaal as Robert Graysmith and Robert Downey Jr. as Paul Avery in "Zodiac" (2007)

Robert Downey Jr. as Julian in "Less Than Zero" (1987)

"I just found I had this internal dialogue the whole time", Ellis explains. "I kept wondering what would have happened to Clay." The answer, it transpired, was that Clay had grown from a rich, spoilt college kid into a successful screenwriter and full-blown narcissist – alienated, exploitative, sado-masochistic and amoral.
Robert Pattinson on the set of "Water for Elephants" July 2010

Ellis said recently that he would "rather hang out with Robert Pattinson than Richard Ford", so I ask if he suffers from intellectual insecurity. "Yes, I do." He laughs. "I do. Or I did in New York. But not in LA! LA's easy to drift around in. I just find it fun."

Jake Gyllenhaal as Robert Graysmith and Chloƫ Sevigny as Melanie in "Zodiac" (2007)
Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman and Chloƫ Sevigny as Jean in "American Psycho" (2000)

"Psycho’s unreliable narrator, Patrick Bateman, took the material themes of Ellis’s fiction into corporate America, with hilarious and gruesome consequences. The writer’s popularity became such that he could have written bum on toilet paper and had fans lining the streets to get a second-hand copy. He chose instead to release The Informers, a book of short vampire stories that he’d written years earlier at college.Glamorama saw Ellis polarise many in his gargantuan fan club. Set in the fashion world, it was another heady mix of paranoid characters wearing haute couture, name-dropping and referencing A-list celebrities". Source:

"Premiere voted "Zoolander" as one of "The 50 Greatest Comedies Of All Time" in 2006. Bret Easton Ellis, author of the 1998 book Glamorama, about a dimwitted male model who finds himself embroiled in a terrorist ring with roots in the fashion industry, sued Ben Stiller following the release of Zoolander (2001), citing copyright infringement. The case was later settled out of court".

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