Meat Loaf had a second Fight Club role that you probably didn’t know about

It turns out the cult film might not have been as good without his help

Jacob Stolworthy
Friday 21 January 2022 12:08
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Meat Loaf as Robert ‘Bob’ Paulson in ‘Fight Club’

Meat Loaf, who has died aged 74, was a multi-talented star, appearing in films as well as releasing music.

The Grammy winner’s death was announced on his official Facebook page, with a statement reading: “Our hearts are broken to announce that the incomparable Meat Loaf passed away tonight with his wife Deborah by his side. Daughters Pearl and Amanda and close friends have been with him throughout the last 24 hours...”

Before selling millions of albums and releasing popular singles, including Bat Out of Hell and “I’d Do Anything for Love”, Meat Loaf appeared in films ranging from The Rocky Horror Picture Show to Focus, directed by Arthur Miller.

One of his most popular roles was in Fight Club, the 1999 David Fincher film starring Edward Norton, Brad Pitt and Helena Bonham Carter.

Meat Loaf appeared in the film as Robert “Bob” Paulson, a former body builder who gets testicular cancer due to his reliance on steroids.

It turns out that Meat Loaf actually helped the completed film take shape, with Fincher recruiting him to pick certain takes.

Reflecting on the film, he told The AV Club in 2016: “I hardly spent any time in my trailer for almost 10 months. I sat next to David the entire time. Well, not next to him – I would have driven him crazy – but close, like behind him, so I could see what was going on and what he was seeing.”

Edward Norton and Meat Loaf in 'Fight Club’

He continued: “It got to the point, about four or five months into filming, that we’d break for lunch, and Fincher would call me into his trailer and say, ‘I want you to help me pick which one I should use.’ Of course, in my head I’m going, ‘What?’”

“The first time he did that, I said, ‘I can’t do that,’ and he goes, ‘Yeah, you can. You’ve been sitting next to me, so help me pick out the best one.’

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Meat Loaf said of the scrupulous director: “His average take was 44, so we’d sit there and watch 40 takes, and he’d go, ‘Which one did you like the best,’ and I’d say something like, ‘Well, it’s either 24 or 26,’ and he’d say, ‘I agree with you, 26.’”

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