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Easton Ellis on Cultural Relevance

from Rolling Stone

Bret Easton Ellis on Podcasts, Politics and How His Dark Satire Predicted Trump’s America

“If there is a sense of cultural irrelevance hovering around me, that’s fine,” says the screenwriter and novelist behind ‘American Psycho,’ ‘Less Than Zero’

By

Over the past three decades, novelist Bret Easton Ellis has dealt in ultraviolence, casual nihilism and the skewering of America’s superficialities. With his last book, Imperial Bedrooms approaching its 10-year anniversary, it began to seem that Ellis was spinning his wheels. With several savagely reviewed screenwriting ventures in recent years — the 2013 Lindsay Lohan/James Deen erotic thriller The Canyons didn’t exactly set the world on fire — the Bret Easton Ellis brand might not hold as much commercial clout as it once did. However, in his 54th year, Ellis is happy. American Psycho has become a millennial touchstone and the pilot for Less Than Zero — a proposed 10-part miniseries for Hulu based on Ellis’s first book — just wrapped. With age came calm, but the man who birthed Patrick Bateman still has the ability to royally piss people off.

After decades of playing possum with his homosexuality in the media and on the page — in his 2005 semi-autobiographical novel Lunar Park, the main character is married with kids — Ellis has reached a place where his identity, politics and worldview are an open forum. The Bret Easton Ellis Podcast, which debuted in 2013 with guest Kanye West, has been a soapbox for the Literary Brat-Packer to rant about whatever is on his mind, from film and music, to pop culture and politics. This year, Ellis took the podcast to Patreon, a subscription service that charges Ellis fans $1.50 per episode, or $10 a month for a membership where users can participate in Q&As with Ellis and his guests. In a time where paid podcasts are mostly viewed as a fool’s venture, Ellis sees it as an experiment in action — albeit one that might not be working out as great as he envisioned.

Catching up with Ellis from his Beverly Hills home, we discussed fear, liberal loathing and why he’s not afraid to be culturally irrelevant.

[ click to continue reading at Rolling Stone ]

Posted on August 11, 2018 by Editor

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