Bret Easton Ellis, who authored the 1991 novel American Psycho, says his story’s title character, narcissistic Wall Street serial killer Patrick Bateman, would probably support GOP frontrunner Donald Trump’s White House bid.
Speaking to the New York Post in a recent interview, Ellis sat down to discuss the book and its Broadway musical, when the conversation turned toward the 2016 presidential race.
When discussing Bateman, who is depicted as a materialistic, sex-addicted pathological killer in both the book and its 2000 film adaptation starring Christian Bale, Ellis told the Post the deranged late 1980s investment banker would have admired Trump’s business successes — and would likely still support him today.
“The Art of the Deal was a big thing among young Wall Street guys [in the late 1980s],” Ellis told the paper of the Trump bestseller. “Donald Trump was somebody to aspire to [be].”
“Trump seems to be connecting to the blue-collar, disaffected workers, and they are not part of Patrick’s crowd,” Ellis told the paper’s Michael Kaplan.
Still, the Manhattan madman would admire Trump’s outspokenness, and would ultimately support his bid for the White House, Ellis said: “I think Trump would be a father figure for him. He would see a kindred spirit in the Donald Trump of today: Somebody who calls out bulls—t when he sees it.”
In American Psycho, Patrick Bateman admires Trump, and even attends a U2 concert after he learns Trump is a fan of the band. During a conversation with a detective who is investigating the murder of one of Bateman’s victims, Bateman recommends the detective read The Art of the Deal.
Ellis told Guardian earlier this month Bateman would probably be “disappointed” with who Trump is “connecting with.” Ellis added:
Trump today isn’t the Trump of 1987. He’s not the Trump of Art of the Deal … He seemed much more elitist in 87, 88. Now he seems to be giving a voice to white, angry, blue-collar voters … To the guys that I was talking to in the Eighties when I was researching American Psycho, Donald Trump was an aspirational figure. That’s why the jokes are throughout the book. It wasn’t like I pulled that out of my hat; that was happening. And so I just thought it was funny that ‘OK, well, Patrick Bateman’s gonna be obsessed with Donald Trump. He’s gonna want to aspire to be Donald Trump.’ And I don’t know if he would think that today.
In February, Ellis took to Twitter to write he was “shocked” that most of his companions at a West Hollywood dinner were voting for Trump, despite the fact they would “never admit it publicly.”
Just back from a dinner in West Hollywood: shocked the majority of the table was voting for Trump but they would never admit it publicly.
— Bret Easton Ellis (@BretEastonEllis) February 21, 2016
Set in the “epicenter of excess: 1980s Manhattan,” critically-acclaimed musical American Psycho is now playing on Broadway.
Watch a clip of 2000’s American Psycho: