Hey r/IAMA, this is Bret’s Assistant. Looks like I made an error with the schedule by posting 11 AM Eastern, when I meant 11 AM Pacific.

In any case, Bret will be here at 11 AM PST to answer your questions about his new podcast on Patreon, his upcoming book, or anything that you want to talk about.

The link to the new podcast is


UPDATE: I'm Bret Easton Ellis and I'm here to answer all of your questions as well as talk about the new version of The Bret Easton Ellis Podcast on Patreon.

Comments: 862 • Responses: 55  • Date: 

jaf27648 karma

Hi. What did you think of Christian Bale's portrayal of Patrick Bateman?

breteellis780 karma

Excellent, always thought so.

kjdflkas344 karma

What's the best advice you could give to a young man who wants to support himself through his own creations?

breteellis1243 karma

Marry someone rich.

rare_gooby301 karma

Hi Bret, Chuck Palahniuk was recently a guest on Joe Rogan's podcast and it was a very popular episode. Here on reddit and on the youtube comments section I saw many people saying how they wish more authors would be guests on his podcast and you especially were requested by many. Would you consider appearing on his show?

breteellis463 karma

If you guys want me on Joe Rogan you should reach out to Rogan's people. I'd gladly do it when the book is out. Or even before.

rtred27241 karma

We have to see what Patrick Bateman is doing now. Trump was an idol to him, is he part of trumps cabinet, did he have an awkward meeting with the president? Is he into Scientology?

breteellis271 karma

I actually have a chapter about where Patrick Bateman might be in the new book--just musing about it, so if you can wait...There was also an article about this a few years back in Town and Country, I believe.

jaf27221 karma

Hi. What is your favourite and least favourite adaptation of your work and why?

breteellis413 karma

Favorite: The Rules of Attraction because it caught the spirit of the book and Roger Avary is a truly inventive director. Loved it. Least favorite would have to be The Informers, not because it's such a bad movie but because I was a writer and a producer on it and it just fell away from me and it did not end up resembling what me and Nick Jarecki my co-writer had envisioned. Very hard process, depressing. But there are things I like about that movie. There is a longer cut that makes it more palatable. Oh well.

iamtheamaznazn220 karma

What was your inspiration for writing American Psycho?

breteellis356 karma

Long story that I somewhat answer in a new non-fiction book that will be published by Knopf in April of 2019. But basically: a reaction to my life at that time.

ridorride148 karma

What bummed you out the most about the screen adaptation of Less Than Zero?

breteellis519 karma

That there wasn't a single scene or line of a dialogue from the book.

nazzloon134 karma

Hi, Bret! Would love to know a bit more about your upcoming book, I know you touched upon it briefly but a little more information would be cool.

Also, I remember a while back you were Tweeting about story ideas; Sean Bateman in LA, Patrick being Patrick. Have you thought any more about revisiting these characters?

I've been a huge fan for years and own multiple copies of all your books (hardback and paperback) and just want to say thank you so much for all the stories. You're my favourite writer and can't wait for you to release some more. Cheers!

breteellis170 karma

Thanks so much. The new book is a kind of rant in 7 sections about corporate culture, free speech and the limits of likability and some of it is culled from a few articles I've written in the past 8 years or so and some of it is culled from podcast monologues but shaped into what is hopefully a credible whole.

gomekforever100 karma

What is your favorite meal in los angeles?

breteellis300 karma

Tough one. The steak for two at Lucques with sautéed arugula and mashed potatoes. How strange to type that. How intimate. The omakase at Jinpachi. Tacos at a hole in the wall on Sawtelle just below Santa Monica Boulevard. Off the top of my head. The burgers at Carney's. Etc.

breteellis98 karma

Thanks everyone. I've gotta run. Might answer a few more questions later in the day. And check out The Bret Easton Ellis Podcast on Patreon--you might like it.

WelbournRobert91 karma

Hi Mr Ellis, huge huge fan. Glamorama is my favourite book ever written, so thank you for making it exist.

Do you think we'll ever get to see more of Victor? Or Lauren Hynde? Or get some new characters to read about?

Edit; Also, I'm sure you get this all the time but my debut novel came out a few weeks ago and you're a huge influence on it - can I send you a copy?

breteellis110 karma

I'm not sure about seeing more of Victor or Lauren--I'm kind of back and forth about writing a novel. I'm interested in directing scripts of mine--but THAT is frustrating enough to drift to a novel again. I have an idea about a novel set in the late 70s/early 80s before Less Than Zero that has been haunting me for over a decade but not enough to sit down and work on it, though there is an outline. If you'd like to send anything--send it to my Agent, Amanda Urban at the ICM offices in NY, or to Josie Freedman at the ICM offices in LA.

jigga1965 karma

I’ve read in interviews that you’ve said it’s all in Bateman’s head, however it seemed to be polarizing among those who read the book first (which I did) versus those who saw just the movie. Do you think this was a goal of Harron and the screenwriters?

(FWIW, I’m grateful the habitrail scene was omitted.)

breteellis163 karma

I'm not sure it's all in Bateman's head--I always thought it was real and imaginary while I was writing the book which made the book more compelling to write, not knowing as the author. I went back and forth, and I think that shows in the final product. I don't think it's more interesting knowing either way.

raphph61 karma

Which "well-liked" celebrity do you know to be repugnant behind the scenes?

breteellis120 karma

I don't know a lot of celebrities. And the ones I know are pretty nice. Boring answer. But there you go.

raphph57 karma

Your Empire / Post-Empire worldview assessment of everything - are we down for a Post-Post-Empire view anytime soon? Since everything seems Post-Empire now.

breteellis96 karma

Everything is corporate now. Post-empire exists (certainly it's happening in right now politics) but it feels like we're moving into a stifling corporate culture that is battling against the transparency of post-Empire expression and values.

Murray9649 karma

I just watched the 2002 Rules of Attraction film last night. Do you have a favourite scene or moment from the film that accurately captures the tone/message of your book?

breteellis100 karma

The split-screen meeting of Sean and Lauren--great. The split screen "seduction" of Paul and Sean--ditto. Though I wished it was left a bit more ambiguous, though Sean is THERE in Paul's room the next scene so...

YoursTrulyYaniv44 karma

Hi Bret,

Do you have a general opinion or attitude towards movie adaptations of your books?

And on a similar note, do you know anything about a new adaptation of Less Than Zero? I know Quentin Tarantino has said he would like to make that movie, which I would personally really love to see.

breteellis131 karma

Hulu shot a pilot for a TV mini-series of Less Than Zero. I haven't seen it yet--they're tinkering with it. It essentially IS the book, with a good cast and a script I liked. I think there were a few glitches and there's some rewriting and reshooting but hopefully they'll figure it out.

Slith4242 karma

If you were a school librarian, how would you inspire the youth to read? Especially young guys, 13-16 year-olds, who hates to read.

Have you read any good novels for teens lately that you can recommend? Or do you not read any books targeted towards the youth?

breteellis58 karma

13-16 year old guys--that's a tough group. Even when reading fiction was much more common in the 1970s when I was a boy it was still rare to find guys who read books. I haven't read any books for teens specifically lately. And I'm not that interested in Y/A novels. There are too many old great ones I still haven't read.

bigmmouthbillybass38 karma

Hi Bret,

I met you at an event in a London bookstore around the time you released Imperial Bedrooms. If I remember rightly, I gave you a copy of my dissertation which analysed the interplay between homosocial and homosexual relationships in stuff like Fight Club, American Psycho and Dennis Cooper's Frisk.

Did you ever read it?

Scratch that, my actual question: how do you feel about critics and the like looking so deeply into your work? For example, the idea that the entirety of American Psycho is made up because of an inconsistency about a tie. Does the fact that, especially as you write more and more, people are obsessively examining every little detail of your novels, change the way you write them at all?

Thanks, and hoping to see another book from you soon.

breteellis59 karma

No, people's reactions to the books, starting early on, never altered what I wanted to write or how I write. None of that distracted me. It did interest me, and I do read things written about me. And it's fine. Everyone has their own interpretation.

WelbournRobert37 karma

Also, what's the upcoming book, and when can we expect it?

breteellis59 karma

April 2019 is when it's scheduled but again it's non-fiction.

Murray9635 karma

Who was your favourite character to write about and why?

breteellis80 karma

It might have been Victor Ward in Glamorama, because that was the most intensive writing experience I've ever had and I was with him for 8 years and I grew to like him a lot even though he was truly clueless. Frustrating but likable, I thought. I felt really bad for him in the end. The last chapters were hard to write.

ouroka35 karma


You're my favorite author by far, but thanks to the podcast you've also become one of my favorite film critics. What did you think of "Sorry to Bother You?"


Bret's assistant,

I host the very good and very successful podcast Struggle Session and we'd love to have Bret on sometime. How can we make that happen?

breteellis25 karma

There's a long review of Sorry To Bother You in the latest episode of The Bret Easton Ellis Podcast--check it out.

Murray9630 karma

How difficult was it to get American Psycho published due to its controversial nature?

breteellis88 karma

Now, it would be impossible. But once the original house refused to publish it another more prestigious house came along and published it instead. I think it was homeless for about two to three days.

Murray9626 karma

Have you watched and what did you think of the film American Psycho 2 with Mila Kunis?

breteellis93 karma

A movie that was based on a completely different concept suddenly had a connection to AP, in order to sell it. It's a disaster, of course. Everyone knows.

AdamLehrerUptown25 karma


Two questions. One fun. One more serious. First of all, I want to say thank you for your literature and your cultural criticism. I don’t always agree with you, but I always find your perspective valid and it always shifts my perceptions to new kinds of awareness and thoughtfulness.

First, I loved your takes on your podcast of Paul Verhoeven’s ‘Elle’ and Ari Aster’s ‘Hereditary.’ In my mind, these two films are the most powerful, provocative, and subversive pieces of film art that this decade has afforded us so far. Do you agree with this assessment? What is your film of the 2010s if not?

Second, I have to get political here. While I believe some of your criticisms of the left are valid, I can’t help but feel that sometimes you are way too hard on the left and far too soft on the right. You talk about ‘Trump Derangement Syndrome,’ on the left referring to those who have let Trump’s behavior and policies psychologically ruin them. But the fact stands, he is a truly horrific person with an anstronomical amount of power and his administration has been marred by historic levels of corruption and policies that have actually and literally fucked over peoples lives. And you could say, ‘all politicians are corrupt’ but that would still prove to be a false equivalence in the face of this degradation of the office. So is it not equally deranged for the right wing to deny totally and completely what we all see right in front of us? In my mind, the only good thing about Trump is exposing the mind boggling hypocrisy of the moralizing Christian Right?

Thank you again. And I would love to see you and Karyn Kusama team up on a Glamorama adaptation starring Charlie Hunnam as Victor. Just sayin’!

breteellis51 karma

Yes, ELLE and HEREDITARY are two of the best movies I've seen in the last couple of years.

I may seem too hard on the Left because I live with a manic Trump-loathing socialist and it drives me crazy because I think he's wasting his time and harming himself. And I'm not affiliated with any group (not Republican. not Democrat, not conservative, maybe liberal but...not loony California liberal, that is for sure) so right now the right just seems calmer and doing its job--whatever that was that got them elected. The Left has become absolutely crazed and it both depresses and angers me, I guess. All I can say is: next time, guys. Something happened that got Trump elected and I think we need to take a good look at that and figure out how it happened, and avoid it in the future. But he's there and I don't think there's anything that's going to take him down so one has to find peace somehow or self-immolate.

callsouttheblue25 karma

I enjoyed The Deleted a lot and thought it showed your love for aesthetics, Brian de Palma and John Carpenter beautifully. Do you have any intentions of directing more any time soon and were you happy with how it turned out and the response it garnered? I feel like had it been on a more prominent streaming service it could have had a solid cult audience.

breteellis32 karma

I enjoyed directing The Deleted and am trying to find financing for a couple of movies I've written but it's difficult. I'm happy how The Deleted turned out considering we had no money, no time, and personalities who had never acted before and yet the show had stunts, many blood gags (that didn't work), a lot of nudity and sex, including an orgy--and it was a race. The response was not what we hoped. I think we overestimated what a younger audience wanted and they were shocked by the show. The company that produced it has shut down and so the show is kind of in limbo. All the episodes are on YouTube -- not very good quality.

Bartlebyknowsit23 karma

Hey Mr. Ellis.

Did you see the 1980's as a particularly nihilistic period culturally?

breteellis48 karma

I saw the early 80s that way but it was a thrilling nihilism that was pervading the late 70s/early 80s embodied in minimalism and punk, but that gave way to the patriotic full-flowered lavish 80s that I ended up starting to write about midway through Rules of Attraction and into American Psycho, too.

jaf2721 karma

Is there a famous book you wish you had written?

breteellis55 karma

The Corrections.

deconman20 karma

Why are you so non prolific? Do you actually enjoy writing. Seems to me you're really a movie man.

breteellis54 karma

Yeah, it's a bummer. But a book is an intense relationship and I've published seven, which I think is a lot. They take me a long time to write but I would love to just whip out this novel I've been thinking about and complete it in a couple of months. And it's true--I am interested in directing and yet I got interested in the wrong moment.

TheBatemanFlex20 karma

Hey Mr. Ellis,

Did it affect you at all having to put yourself in the mind of a character like Patrick Bateman?

Your works seem to have such a powerful effect on the readers’ ability to empathize with the protagonist. I wonder if something similar occurs in the writing process.


breteellis39 karma

At times, it did. Especially in the brutal last weeks when I was writing the violent sequences. But I had to empathize with him in order to spend three years with him.

Murray9620 karma

Out of your books not already adapted to film, which one would you most like to see on the big (or small) screen and who would be your ideal cast for the leads?

breteellis59 karma

Well, I'm adapting Lunar Park as a mini-series with Legendary right now and we'll see what happens with that. Roger Avary owns the rights to Glamorama and I have no idea what he plans to do--that might be an extremely expensive proposition for any studio. Imperial Bedrooms is owned by FOX--it would be interesting to see the old cast reunited. Tom Cruise for Lunar Park.

sashmantitch19 karma

So when's the next novel coming?

breteellis41 karma

Not sure. Sometimes I feel inspired. Sometimes I don't. Waiting...

diosmuerteborracho18 karma

What do you think of vaporwave art? Every time I see someone post on /r/vaporwaveart I think of Less Than Zero, specifically a paperback copy I stole from my junkie roommate.

Another question: when you sit down to write, do you have any specific rituals or things you need in your environment?

breteellis35 karma

I need my bed made before I start writing.

raphph15 karma

How involved were you in the fight / fallout involving the Leo DiCaprio / Christian Bale fight-for-role and what's your take?

breteellis46 karma

I wasn't involved in that at all though I think I pissed Christian off when after he was taken off American Psycho when Leo said he wanted to do it I said I thought Leo was a great idea and that probably harmed whatever possible friendship I would have had with CB. He was fairly testy toward me when we got together and did Charlie Rose in the spring of 2000 the week the movie was released.

beethebee14 karma

Hi, first off, I’m a huge fan and the first time I’ve posted on an AMA. I really love the podcast, and I hope this is a “fun” question...if you had to have anyone as a guest (dead/alive/famous/non-famous) who would it be and why? Keep up the good work :) thanks

breteellis29 karma

When I was at PodcastOne we were pretty lucky at getting the people we wanted--Kanye West, Tarantino, Judd Apatow. I don't know--I'd like PT Anderson. But really it's not about a big guest, or a dream guest, it's about getting someone I'm interested in at the moment and that could be someone no one has heard of--we are kind of operating like that this "season" of the Patreon podcast.

nateclark14 karma

What is your favorite Stephen King short story?

breteellis32 karma

Graveyard Shift.

teddy-c14 karma

Hi Bret, love your work and the podcast.

What do you make of Jim Jarmusch's work? Particularly Paterson?

breteellis23 karma

I thought Paterson was kind of boring. I don't really remember it. Jarmusch is talented but that movie didn't convince me, a bit of a waste of time.

GobtheAlmighty12 karma

Do you still think that Kathryn Bigelow only has a career because she is a "very hot woman?"

breteellis40 karma

Ah, my controversial Twitter years. Yeah, trying to be edgy and contrarian and trying to say something I felt and lacking greater context. I go into the Bigelow tweets in the new nonfiction book and what I was going for. It was both a joke and a reference to a feeling that she had been overrated because of lack of representation. That's all. I also think there are many more interesting female filmmakers than her, and I think it's ironic that she won an Oscar for a movie any man could have made. I also thought Detroit, her last movie, was a flat-out disaster.

filbertsnuts11 karma

Will we ever see Glamorama on screen?

breteellis20 karma

Have to ask Roger Avary.

themanwithnoreddit11 karma

What question do you wish people would ask you, but no one does?

breteellis24 karma


81imb10 karma

Hi Bret! What is your general writing process like? What kind of advice would you give to a budding writer?

breteellis23 karma

I like to keep "office hours" meaning pretty much 10-6 in the office working on various projects. If something is due I might go late, overtime, but usually prefer evenings to be open.

V01t4r310 karma

First of all, I love your podcast and am glad to be a gold member.

I remember hearing that you were once in a band back in the 80s. Do you ever desire playing in a band again? Maybe doing something like Stephen King’s Rock Bottom Remainders or Max Allan Collins’ Cruisin’?

breteellis21 karma

Being in a couple of bands was great intense fun. Yes, one in LA, and I was in a couple in college. I really did think for a few minutes there that I was going to be a songwriter--I wrote hundreds of songs. But books took over. I don't think now I would enjoy it as much but who knows.

callumbaker9 karma

Bret, big fan. Amongst yourself, what other artists would you see as working on pushing creative story telling forward? Be it filmmaker, writer, musician or otherwise.

breteellis14 karma

I'm not sure I'm that interested about "pushing" story telling forward as much as I simply like a certain kind of story telling told with a certain kind of artistry.

studean448 karma

Hey Bret. When do you think you’ll release your next book of fiction?

Do you think it’ll retain characters from your past work or start fresh with new ones?


breteellis11 karma

It'll be fresh ones.

magopantalion8 karma

Hi Bret,

When writing, do you make up stuff about fashion or you really know that much about it?

And if you do, how do you remember so much detail about it and what comes to your mind when portraiting all those looks?

THanks :)

breteellis26 karma

Research, research, research and then making everything up.

frosted_jacques7 karma

Hi Bret! Big fan. How did you first get your start in writing, and what advice would you give to young people who want to emulate your success as an author?

breteellis16 karma

It's a very different time and I don't think the publishing world works that way anymore.

gomekforever7 karma

yo! why did you move your podcast to a paid subscription service? any plans to have them released to the people

breteellis4 karma

I answered this in a Rolling Stone interview from about a month ago. It explains what we are thinking.

PriffCrinstle555 karma

Hey Bret,

Big fan of the podcast and your work over the years. Are you able to share anything about the Hulu LTZ series? So excited to see that done right. The cast looks great!

P.S. - Did you and Todd ever get to Sharp Objects? I'd be interested to hear your take on that one if you got through it.

breteellis4 karma

Watched the first episode of Sharp Objects and am not sure about where to go with it. I've heard both pro and con.

Ohthehumanityofit5 karma

Hi Bret,

I read American Psycho about ten years ago. It remains one of the more disturbing pieces of literature I've taken in. What's your favorite character from any books besides yours?

breteellis7 karma

I recently finished The House of Mirth and Lily Bart right now is the character that has most haunted me lately. Otherwise Frederic Moreau from Sentimental Education.

MDolloff5 karma

How many celebrities/actors/actresses exist out there who may not be conservative in the traditional sense, but believe that the Left has moved so far to the left extreme, that they simply cannot identify with them anymore? And that they don't state so publicly for fear that they will never work again in Hollywood?

breteellis14 karma

I think the Left that we see in the media and social media IS the fringe and I know plenty of liberals and left-leaning people who find the Left in this moment as annoying as hell. So I don't know how the sputtering anger and hatred is going to resolve itself for the Left. Will it push the agenda forward or will it evaporate. I don't know. And I'm not sure about never working again in Hollywood--if you make money you are always ensured work. It's a capitalist society baby.

MisterPimps3 karma

Is there space in publishing for writers whose writing would be repugnant to social justice?

breteellis15 karma

There's a space in publishing for publishing whatever is good. No great novel goes unpublished. Publishers are dying for the simply good and if a book is good it is going to be published. Period.

Vranak3 karma

How many more episodes do you think you have in you for this season of the podcast?

Also how come the audio quality is so much higher this season than on PodCastOne -- did you upgrade the recording equipment or just use higher quality files. Or both.

breteellis7 karma

Upgraded the equipment, my producer is finicky about sound, and I think we're going to go through until the holidays with this season and maybe into next year with a break sometime in January but not long, maybe just a month or so.

raphph3 karma

Do you worry for Rose McGowan's mental health?

breteellis8 karma

I sometimes do. I know her, somewhat, and she's a smart and sensitive person. She's obviously going through something immensely difficult for her. I'm both sympathetic and frustrated. The impulse is a righteous one and yet it seems to have warped into something that's not necessarily helpful but rather vengeful. There are differences in abuses of power and I think we are losing sight of this.

jaf272 karma

Hello. Do you have a favourite line or monologue from American Psycho?

breteellis6 karma

Good question but I don't really have one. I find it a very difficult book to look at because there are many things I'd want to change, edit, add, cut. It's too painful to look at it.

jaf271 karma

Which films have you really enjoyed so far this year and which ones have you been disappointed by?

breteellis3 karma

Hereditary, Mission Impossible: Fallout, A Prayer Before Dawn--are my three faves so far.

Eighth Grade, On Chesil Beach, American Animals--most disappointing.