Exclusive: What Happens When Women Reenact That Famous American Psycho Scene?

Even for those who haven't seen American Psycho before, you're probably familiar with the quasi-reality it depicts. The movie tells the fictional story of Patrick Bateman, a successful banker by day who moonlights as a serial killer. As a biting satire, the film is sharp on consumerism and shallowness: We live in a culture fueled by testosterone and greed, it posits, and between trendy restaurants and trendier night clubs, haven't we all been a little diminished? (Or, in the case of a yuppie serial killer, become totally unhinged, too.)

NYC-based comedian Dani Faith Leonard worked with producer Zoe Samuel and director Mark Philip Lichtenstein to flip the narrative of this cult favorite. Their new video series called Swapped zigs and zags through the conventional and limiting gender roles of mainstream movies.

So in place of the corporate masculinity that serves as the movie's linchpin, episode one recasts Patrick Bateman (originally played by Christian Bale) as Patricia Bateman, expanding the well-known business card scene's scope and depth.
"It’s an iconic scene in an iconic film," producer Zoe Samuel told Refinery29. "Psychopathic, villainous characters are never played by women. It also gave us the opportunity to talk about what a corporate drone’s uniform looks like for a woman, especially in an image we’ve never seen: That many women in a boardroom [with] powerful positions.”

Leonard said she came up with the series to target the lack of gender parity in the industry, and to add a visual element to conversations about diversity and representations of gender in movies.

"This is an experiment," Leonard said. "It's meant to start conversation about traditional gender roles in American movies. We’re looking to gender-flip the movies, and place men in the women’s roles. And we’re also looking to see what challenges we’re faced with when men are in what are traditionally feminine roles."

Watch the short, below.

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CAST:
Patricia Bateman: Dani Faith Leonard
Paula Allen: Mara Wilson
Dana Van Patten: Keisha Zollar
Louise Carruthers: Julie Rosing
Tabitha Bryce: Anna Suzuki
Claire McDermott: Nivedita Kulkarni
Marsha Halberstram: Laura Kleinbaum
Colleagues: SJ Son, Rasheda Crockett, Jordan Randolph


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