Christian Bale says he owes his career to Leonardo DiCaprio passing on roles: 'Thank you, Leo'

Christian Bale takes a moment to thank the man who unwittingly helped him become the star he is today: Leonardo DiCaprio.
The Amsterdam actor cheekily credited his cinematic success to DiCaprio for turning down roles in prominent films that he was subsequently able to audition for and land himself.
"Look, to this day, every role someone gets is just because they passed it on before," Bale told GQ in a candid interview. "It doesn't matter what anyone tells you. It doesn't matter how friendly you are with the directors. All of these people that I've worked with on multiple occasions offered him all of these roles first."
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"So thank you Leo because he can literally choose anything he does," Bale concluded. "And good for him, he's phenomenal."
Christian Bale attends the World Premiere of Thor: Love and Thunder at the El Capitan Theater on June 23, 2022 in [Hollywood], California.; Leonardo DiCaprio attends the world premiere of "Don't Look Up" at Jazz at Lincoln Center on December 5, 2021 in New York City.
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Alberto E Rodriguez/Getty Images; Kevin Mazur/Getty Images Christian Bale called Leonardo DiCaprio a "great" actor.
While knowing that DiCaprio appears to have priority over roles might ensnare others in a game of not-so-friendly competition, Bale insisted he's never taken it personally when casting directors have passed him over in favor of the Titanic actor.
"No. Do you know how grateful I am to get anything? I mean, I can't do what he's doing," Bale shared. "And he's doing great. But I would guess that almost everyone in Hollywood his similar age owes their careers to him, whatever the project."
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One particular role DiCaprio reportedly turned down was as axe-wielding yuppie serial killer Patrick Bateman in the 2000 horror film American Psycho. When DiCaprio eventually parted ways with the project, Bale was able to step into the role that would later take him into the mainstream -Success should catapult.
american psycho
Everett Collection Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman in American Psycho.
Although, as Bale recalled, becoming a Bateman came with his own financial caveats. "They had paid me the bare minimum that the law allowed them to do," he said. "I remember once I was sitting in the makeup trailer and the makeup artists laughed at me because I was paid less than everyone else."
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At the time, Bale said that "no one wanted me to do the film" except for director Mary Harron, which contributed to his lower salary.
"They said they would only make it if they could pay me that amount," Bale explained. "I prepared myself for other people to play the part. I was still preparing for it. And, you know, it went on. I've lost my mind But I got it back.”
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Christian Bale
English actor (born 1974)
Leonardo DiCaprio
actor

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