As a detective solving the crossword clue “Actor in ‘American Psycho’ and ‘Nightmare Alley,'” my thought process would begin by examining the clues in the two movie titles. ‘American Psycho’ is a psychological thriller film that was released in 2000 and featured a talented cast. The lead character in the movie, Patrick Bateman, was portrayed by Christian Bale, so he couldn’t be our answer. However, upon further examining the cast list, there was an actor named Willem Dafoe who played a private detective in the movie. Moving on to “Nightmare Alley,” a movie that was released in 2021, I would again examine the entire cast list. After checking and re-examining, I saw that Willem Dafoe was also in the cast, and the dots connected that he was the one we were looking for.
In addition to his appearance in these two movies, I know that Willem Dafoe is an extremely talented actor who has appeared in numerous high-profile movies over the years. His performance in ‘Platoon’ as Sergeant Elias inspired a generation, and his portrayal of the Green Goblin in ‘Spider-Man’ is iconic. His acting skills and versatility make him a popular choice for complex roles in films, and the two movies mentioned in the crossword clue may prove to be just another feather in his cap. Hence, I am confident that Willem Dafoe is the correct answer to this crossword clue, and the final answer is “DAFOE”.