Interview with American Psycho star Benjamin Walker
Benjamin Walker can currently be seen on Broadway in his Drama Desk Award-nominated portrayal of Patrick Bateman in the Broadway premiere of American Psycho at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre. He is well-known among theatre fans for his performance in the title role of 'Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson,' as well as past Broadway outings in 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,' 'Les Liaisons Dangereuses,' and 'Inherit the Wind.'
Film fans may know him from his performance in the title role of 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,' as well as screen appearances in 'Flags of Our Fathers,' 'The Choice,' 'The War Boys,' and 'In the Heart of the Sea.'
Sadly, it was just announced that the Broadway engagement of American Psycho will play its final performance on 5 June 2016. Prior to this announcement, we caught up with Benjamin to talk about the appeal of Patrick Bateman and fake blood...
Thomas Hayden Millward: What do you love most and what do you find most challenging about playing Patrick Bateman on Broadway, Benjamin?
Benjamin Walker: Well, I love that everybody has a little bit of Patrick Bateman in them, that he’s the guy that does not censor himself. But that’s also what’s scary about it. And what’s most challenging? Probably the same thing – which is to release your demons and then kind of put a lid on them when you go home.
THM: Did you get to see the original production at London’s Almeida Theatre?
BW: I didn’t, but I heard Matt [Smith] was amazing.
THM: But you were involved with the musical at previous workshop readings, right? How did your journey take shape from back then to opening night on Broadway?
BW: I was approached by [Composer] Duncan [Sheik] and [Director] Rupert [Goold] a few years ago to do a lab of ‘American Psycho’ to see if this was something people would actually come and see and if it works as a musical. And it did with flying colours. Then they were talking about doing it at the Almeida in London and I had gotten another job. I couldn’t do it. Luckily Matt did such a great job and it’s still alive and people went crazy for it, so we were able to take another step and bring it here. People were camping out in London to see it, and now it’s here on Broadway.
THM: And you must be going through fake blood by the gallon?! I hope you don’t run out of it anytime soon!
BW: (Laughs) And it’s all over my bedsheets at night! My poor wife is constantly complaining about all the blood and fake tan I’m bringing home with me. It’s really not glamorous!
THM: And all that white clothing will be turning pink in the wash!
BW: (Laughs) Yeah, exactly!
THM: So what’s next for Benjamin Walker?
BW: Well, I’m producing a new film in the Fall and I’m doing some stand-up comedy. Really I’m just trying to get through this. It’s gruelling!... in a great way. But we’ll see how long people keep coming.