How Meat Loaf Was Instrumental in Making of ‘Fight Club’

by Matthew Memrick

After blossoming as a rock singer, Meat Loaf was instrumental in the cult classic “Fight Club” working behind the scenes, too.

The actor played a pivotal role in the 1999 dystopian flick “Fight Club” with Brad Pitt and Edward Norton. The film grossed $101 million in box office sales.

Sure, the actor made it big with “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” but he also made an important impact behind the scenes with director David Fincher. 

In a 2016 interview with The AV Club (via Insider), Meat Loaf explained that he didn’t spend much time in his movie trailer during the film’s production. He said he “hardly spent any time in my trailer for almost ten months.”

Variety reported on the Meat Loaf’s role in the process. The actor-singer died on Thursday at 74 from cancer.

Musician-Turned-Actor A Big Help In ‘Fight Club’ Production

The actor starred as Robert “Bob” Paulson on the screen. The Paulson character had terminal cancer and ended up among the Fight Club throngs. One special photo memory from the film showed Meat Loaf embracing star Norton.

Reportedly, Meat Loaf wore a fat suit that gave him large breasts. For scenes with Norton, the 5-foot-10 actor also wore eight-inch lifts in his shoes. During fighting scenes, his character also had to keep his shirt on (others took shirts off per the Fight Club rules).

But he also worked in the editing room with Fincher.

“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. 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?’”

According to the actor, he helped Fincher weed out the worst takes from the best. Meat Loaf said Fincher’s average scene take, or the number of times he shot a scene, was 44 times.

Meat Loaf Didn’t Know He’d Help In Scene Editing

When Fincher called on him for help, he was hesitant at first. Fincher told him, “‘Yeah, you can (help).’” 

On one occasion, Fincher asked Meat Loaf which take of 44 he preferred. The actor recalled saying “either 24 or 26,” and Fincher answered, “I agree with you, 26.”

The men worked to pick out Meat Loaf’s best scenes, and it worked.  

Meat Loaf acted in other notable films like “Wayne’s World,” “Focus,” “Spice World,” and “Wishcraft.” His last film credit was in 2014’s “Wishin’ and ‘Hopin.” He also starred on TV shows, including the Donald Trump show “Celebrity Apprentice.”