Bret Easton Ellis on The Rules of Attraction and Its Sexy, Illicit Spinoff You'll Never See

One of the problems I had with the movie was that I thought James Van Der Beek's performance was too informed by Christian Bale's -- like he knew he was supposed to be the brother of this character, so he played him more like Bale than what I had pictured in the book.

You know what, that's interesting. I loved James Van Der Beek in it and I did not see that at all, I thought he completely captured that character as I had written it. I don't know, that's interesting. I understand what you're saying, but I thought he was so good.

I also felt like the relationships were barely there in the movie. When Van Der Beek and Shannyn Sossamon break up, it's supposed to be a big moment, but we've only seen them share one scene before that.

You're right. Yeah, that is true. Didn't bother me.


No, because I liked everything else that was in there. Yeah, there are arguments to be made that the sexuality between everyone is muted in a way. Yeah, that is missing, but I think the rest of the movie makes up for it.


The best sequence in the film, as everyone seems to note, is the montage of Victor's adventures in Europe.

Of course. That is the best sequence.

Roger shot reams of footage of Kip Pardue misbehaving abroad for that sequence, and then cut them together for this supposedly illicit spinoff film called Glitterati.

Oh, it is illicit.

So you've seen it?

Yes, I've seen it.

Early on, Roger had intimated that he'd be releasing it, but from what I've heard, it's not releasable. What's in this film?

What do you want to know? Be specific.

What's the most shocking thing in it?

Well, real people getting it on.

It's pornographic?

It's extremely explicit. And Kip is in character the whole time. I don't know if he had a girlfriend while he was making this movie, but I hope he didn't. I feel kind of bad even talking about it, but like, there's a scene where he meets a girl someplace and the camera crew is following them and he seduces the girl, and they're in a cab and the girl pulls out her phone and calls her boyfriend and says, "I'm not going to be home for a little while." Then they all go up to a hotel room and...things start happening. I don't know, it's like...[laughs]. I can't say any more than that.

Does it actually hang together as a narrative?

It's fascinating to watch. It's like a documentary with a fictional character in the middle of it. Still, even the idea Roger had that he could release this is ridiculous. It's just not possible.

He was also intending to direct your novel Glamorama for a while.

I think the days of being able to make that movie are over.

u don't think it's the right climate?

Don't think it's the right climate. I was talking with a very successful TV director who'd always been interested in the book about doing it as an HBO miniseries, but HBO's just not going to do something like that -- it's got to be about a big, important subject. So my hopes of Glamorama lay with Roger. If he ever gets it together to do it, that would be fantastic, but it's a very expensive movie to make. What do you do? How do you make that movie in this climate? It just doesn't seem possible.

TOMORROW: Ellis on how the adaptation of The Informers became one of last year's most reviled films.

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  • Patrick Bateman says:

    Ellis is crazy if he thinks RULES OF ATTRACTION is better than AMERICAN PSYCHO, which transcended the cruddy source material. I'm no prude, but Ellis's output is rancid, sensationalist crap.

  • NP says:

    Agreed. Harron's film is such a sly, smart adaptation..
    I stopped reading Ellis's books eventually. His bag of tricks and narrative devices = tired and limited.

  • Sweetchuck says:

    You morons know nothing about cinema; RuLes Of AttRaction is a masteRpiece.............................

  • Joel Goodsen says:

    Bennington/Genius/Bennington = Michael Musto Is So Hot !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • TC says:

    Bret Easton Ellis on "The Hills":
    "He [Ellis] is, however-and on this subject, he is highly animated-a huge fan of MTV's scripted reality series of the young and the monied in L.A., THE HILLS. "I think THE HILLS is the greatest show I have ever seen in my life," he says, sincerely. "It is a modern masterpiece. I think that ADAM DeVILLO is a mad genius. He creates it and controls it perfectly." Mr. ELLIS is very specific about the way he watches THE HILLS. "I'm holding off on Season 4 right now. I started watching a bit of it, but I'm waiting until the DVD comes out because I want to see it all so beautifully mastered. Even if you download the show there is that irritating MTV logo in the corner. It doesn't work for me that way. It has to be on a big screen with the sound right up. It blows me away...I'm sorry, but whoever invented HEIDI MONTAG and SPENCER PRATT are just...nothing matches it. I've never see L.A. look more beautiful in a work of art. There are no movies that are as beautiful as that.""

  • Victor Ward says:

    I freakin' love how thought provoking this whole series is. I'm kind of pissed at Ellis, actually, for some of what he's said, but that's what I think is great about him. He's almost like Mozart. Shut up and stay with me. Ok, let's say he's like Tori Amos, cause that's kind of easier to swallow, but it means the same thing. He makes this, this something, and then he never does it again, at least not the same way. And, honestly, sometimes he fucks it up when he re-does it. Usually, he doesn't know he fucks it up. Sometimes he makes it better. A lot of times I wonder if he's slipped into that weird celebrity zone of self satire, holding that joke as his own last stand. Really, addressing TC's comment, calling "The Hills" brilliant is something, ahem, Victor Ward would do. Everything's a trick; everything is a smirk at something else - but nothing is. There's a camera crew following us in a black Jeep.
    All I really have to say, though, is that I hated the film version of Rules of Attraction, but whatever. American Psycho was not only the best adaptation one of his novels, but, arguably, one of the best film adaptations of a novel, ever. And, most importantly:
    Glamorama is my favorite book of all time, and I am, quite frankly, relieved that Avary isn't helming it. Sidenote: I fully recognize and embrace the odd craziness people exhibit over something, particularly a work of art, they don't own and didn't make. AND
    Yes, it can get made. David Lynch should make it. It would be perfect. Justin Theroux as the former model/terrorist. Laura Dern wearing wigs on the QE2. Natalie Portman bleeding out on the bathroom floor. And I am happy to audition for Victor Ward. I'll need to diet a bit more, maybe take a bike instead of my Vespa a few days a week, but I'll make it happen.

  • Victor Ward says:

    Goddammit, I can't shut up about this. Two more things!
    1. Kip Pardue - awful casting. I like him! But awful casting.
    2. The best sequence of Rules of Attraction was when IAN SOMERHALDER TOTALLY MADE OUT WITH DAWSON. Ok, fine, maybe that wasn't the best sequence. It was up there, though.
    But seriously, Dick was the best sequence, screw Europe. It saved the entire film. Underwear plus George Michael plus pills and alcohol equaled greatness.

  • busterbluth says:

    Victor, I don't know you, but I love you for this:
    Yes, it can get made. David Lynch should make it. It would be perfect. Justin Theroux as the former model/terrorist. Laura Dern wearing wigs on the QE2. Natalie Portman bleeding out on the bathroom floor. And I am happy to audition for Victor Ward. I'll need to diet a bit more, maybe take a bike instead of my Vespa a few days a week, but I'll make it happen.
    Glamorama remains my favorite Ellis. And everything but Laura Dern (I still have memories of Inland Empire) sound great.

  • wbm says:

    Rules was brilliant. Click my username & find a comic book based on the scene where Paul is mentally seducing Sean.
    American Psycho was a pretty damn good adaptation, too, but, as much as it captured the 80s the way the novel did, it failed to capture Patrick's grotesqueness. A very very mild disappointment on that one point.

  • […] was such a hit that both the studio and Ellis wanted to work Bale into the film version of Rules. Bale turned down the cameo and Casper Van Dien provided the voice on the other end of the line […]