Matt Smith will be flexing an entirely different set of acting muscles to that of his Doctor Who days when he takes on the character of Patrick Bateman in the musical version of American Psycho. The 30-year-old actor begins rehearsals today – Mon October, 2013 – for the role.

Matt SmithMatt Smith at the GQ 'Man of the Year' Awards

“It’s a damn difficult role to pull off and Smith has charm and the acting chops to do it”, a source close to the production told the Daily Mail. “It’s bold casting and brave for Smith to take it on”, the source added.

Patrick Bateman, the fictional 80s Wall Street investment banker is a powerful man, sick and twisted with his own violent thoughts. He engages in sadistic fantasies involving rape, mutilation and torture.

He was famously portrayed by Christian Bale in the hit movie that shared its name with the book, by Bret Easton Ellis. The critics were mixed when it came to reviews, with some hailing the brave adaption, while others thought it strayed too far from the book. It attained cult status due to some explicitly violent scenes, and a certain business card scene.

Smith is best known for his role as Dr. Who – a turn that saw him critically praised and become a household name for families across the U.K. He shocked the nation when he decided to step down from the role, seemingly in his prime, to take on new challenged. He will appear in one more Christmas special of the legendary sci-fi series.

Christian BaleChristian Bale famously played Bateman in American Psycho

Replacing Smith as the time lord is Peter Capaldi, who played the all-swearing maverick media spin-doctor in BBC comedy, The Thick of It. American Psycho will open officially from 12 December, with previews from 3 December at London's Alemeida Theatre.