Christian Bale learned the hard way why they call it show business! The actor was set to begin shooting American Psycho when producers decided to offer the lead role of Patrick Bateman to Leonardo DiCaprio instead.

"It was obviously very frustrating," he tells TV Guide Online. "It felt like we had been kicked out of our own party. It was a wake-up call in terms of the business side of [acting]. On the creative side, it was a real confidence booster because Mary (Harron, the director) put her own job on the line for [my sake]."

DiCaprio eventually passed on the part, Bale reclaimed his role and the film is about to hit theaters. The highly anticipated flick (based on the controversial novel) made headlines when the MPAA refused to give the film an R rating unless a sex scene ? not a violent scene, mind you ? was reedited. "I sort of felt that it was something the ratings board felt they had to do, considering the controversy surrounding the movie," Bale says. "It was almost like, 'Which scene should we pick?' "

Controversy aside, does Bale identify with his psycho-yuppie character? "Of course," he jokes. "Who couldn't? [Seriously,] there's really not much about Bateman to identify with. I never viewed him as being a real person. Bateman couldn't exist. He's a 24-hour performance."

Like a true method actor, Bale underwent a Brendan Fraser-esque makeover to look the part. "Aesthetics are so important with [Bateman]. You couldn't play Bateman without having to work out maniacally. He had to have a six pack. He's so narcissistic. They had me get manicures and facials. I had to become a vain bastard."