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Gerard Butler GALS

'Love Letters from the Lair'


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Guest Pilar

Ohhh...don't I KNOW it, Trouble!

That kiss WAS overwelming for Erik! For a man as "evolved" as G to portray that kind of innocence...fear...joy...trepidation...sadness...is just an AWESOME thing to watch! That face...that face....

Thousands of emotions flicker across it in the blink of an eye....

Wonderful.

Edited by Pilar
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Hello to all my Lair sisters!! I've been away a whole lot and never seem to get on til wee hours anymore! No wonder i'm always so tired! Couldn't help myself though, Had to soak up some of that beautiful poetry! Emily and Debrasue.... :claphands::claphands: Love it! BTW...DEBRASUE!! We missed you! That's the extent of my poetry! :confused::funnyface: Peggy, I see you been surfing the net huh? You found a site that I don't know about?? Nice pics ...you know that I will steal right? :kisswink: BTW...Debrasue...check out my siggy!

Welcome to our new Lair sisters. You don't have to do anything special but share your feelings and love for Erik ...or not! Just stop in and say hello! :confused: That's cool......

I'm afraid I don't have any pics myself cause I've been busy doing the life things but hope to get my butt right back where I belong....someone is waiting for me!

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Ladyfran of the Lair 'Mistress of the Masters Cherished Violin'

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Edited by ladyfran
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Yep! Ha, ha, ha,...that's exactly what my Dad says!!! Seems to follow me where ever I go...no matter how much I try to avoid it.... "Foot in Mouth" has already been taken by my cousin Breeze.....LOL!

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In celebration of the 300 DVD Release!

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OMG,Swannie...I almost fainted when I saw those pics...I just noticed these right after I watched 300 on DVD...lol Edited by Emily
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Yep! Ha, ha, ha,...that's exactly what my Dad says!!! Seems to follow me where ever I go...no matter how much I try to avoid it.... "Foot in Mouth" has already been taken by my cousin Breeze.....LOL!

Whoo hoo, Deb...your graphics are showing up now!

I know, Emily...aren't those siggys cool???

Swannie

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Yep! Ha, ha, ha,...that's exactly what my Dad says!!! Seems to follow me where ever I go...no matter how much I try to avoid it.... "Foot in Mouth" has already been taken by my cousin Breeze.....LOL!

Whoo hoo, Deb...your graphics are showing up now!

I know, Emily...aren't those siggys cool???

Swannie

They are! I would so have those in my signature if I ever had a chance....lol But I am in an artistic mood and I need my newest sig for inspiration...Speaking of artistic....I have created poem number 12...whew...I have a lot of creativity that I did not know about...

In my room alone,I cried...

Tears rolled down my eyes as I felt no guide.

Holding my feelings in was too much to hide in my heart...

I knew that forces tore me apart...

There was those who hated me...

How I longed for his embrace badly...

The embrace of a love who I could no longer hide from...

While I cried,I knew I could not be calm.

No poem or song could describe how I felt.

When I thought of him all I could do was melt...

But he loved another...one more beautiful than I...

All I could do now was cry...

I loved him...but I could not tell him...

For I knew my chances that he would love me back was slim...

Edited by Emily
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As he pulled me very close, I tried to touch his face, as if to remove a mask, but I just looked into his eyes, and then I woke up!

Damn, I wanted it to continue!

Whenever Erik appears in my dreams... it is so overwhelming. Sometimes I think I should see shrink in order to find out why this character impacts me like this! :erikrose:

Swannie

Don't you know by now Not To Pull The Mask Off!!! LOL! Bad things happen!.....Very Bad!

Uhmmm........ maybe we could all pitch in & send Swann to the Shrink....save some money on the analysis...but I think we would all benefit from it...

And now for something a little different....there's no pattern or form to this...just ramblings mostly...

One of the reasons I love ALW's version...especially the movie(besides G's portrayal of course!) is Webber's & I suppose Schumacher's clever use of metaphor, allegory, symbolism, & seeming contradictions....absolute genius! Every song, phrase...every word means something....an economy of speech , body movements...even the costumes....every detail weaves together seamlessly & beautifully.....except where "Now One Would Listen " was left out.....very integral to the plot....the heart & soul of the story!

The Phantom's Catch 22 (You're Damned if You Do & Damned if You and Don't)

Either way she chooses, you cannot win.

Send him to his grave she will forever hate you

Spend the rest of her days with you...she will grow to resent you

So there you are...once again alone

Singing your song to the only friend you've ever known...the Monkey on the music box..

Paper faces on parade...hide your face so the world will never see you...

You should have known it wasn't meant to be..but still..

Desperately hoping she would learn to love the man behind the mask

You tried your best to seduce & compel her ...the music was your power...

The beauty & love you secretly yearned for was within your grasp...

But there was always the lingering thought in the back of your mind....

you knew you weren't meant to be a part of their world...

especially now. When did you become the villain?That wasn't the plan

The Devil's Child...evil, ugly , horrifying...

a monster.... feared, hated...

and hunted down like a dangerous animal....again...

Your escape was planned well in advance....

This nightmare will haunt all three of you till the very end...

Raoul fears you will take Christine away someday...

Christine fears you might bring harm to Raoul...

You can never escape the past that has always haunted you...

And now the memory of what could have been...

Has become the future that can never be...

Will this tragedy ever end?

But for now....you must find a way to begin your life...

alone...again, for now.....

I need to get some pictures for this I think....

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Edited by Trouble
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If I should stay....
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I would only be in your way.
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So I'll go, but I know
I'll think of you ev'ry step of the way.
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And I will always love you.
I will always love you.
You, my darling you.
Bittersweet memories...
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that is all I'm taking with me.
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So, goodbye. Please, don't cry.
We both know I'm not what you, you need.
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And I will always love you.
I will always love you.
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I hope life treats you kind
And I hope you have all you've dreamed of.
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And I wish to you, joy and happiness.
But above all this, I wish you love.
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And I will always love you.
I will always love you.
I will always love you.
I will always love you.
I will always love you.
I, I will always love you.
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By Dolly Parton

Edited by Trouble
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:erikrose: :tissues: Aww...I love that song. Seeing those pictures with the lyrics to such a wonderful song has made my day...I loved that scene in Phantom and I am reliving when I first cried during the last scene. :tissues:

Edited by Emily
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That's the scene when I realized that this guy had something special and I had to research and find out more about him. It takes a lot to get me to cry in a movie but I've cried in so many of Gerry's movies. He has what it takes to make me a believer in the pain and sorrow he can project in a scene. He just tore my heart out in that scene. :tissues::tissues::tissues::tissues:

Kathy

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:tissues:

Yes.... I was having a hard time putting this one together...(It's almost impossible for me to say 'good-bye'....some sort of anxiety, LOL!)........ there is a lot of understated emotion in the lyrics of this this song.... the sentiment of letting go... and the feeling that comes from knowing you've done this for the greater good of everyone concerned....saying good-bye & moving on is sometimes difficult & sad...but also part of the healing process....

Our Erik discovered that sometimes things get all twisted around ....this is not the way you wanted things to turn out..the person you have become in their eyes is not the person you intended to be....and sometimes you just have to step away....stand back from all the drama & realize how insane it has all become....a reality check ....that the priorities of your life....your life!...has become nothing more than an opera, and you are not the handsome leading man..no...in fact you are the hated, hunted & despised villain... the pitiful creature of darkness, an angel in hell! A misunderstood victim?!....This is not how you want to see yourself, a caricature in your own play...not the man you want to be...how did this happen? And how do you change it? Your whole life is lived in your own private, comfortable domain--the opera house, the stage....but then you have this very strange epiphany....a release...and your spirit takes on a new lightness...that real life is outside of the theater you call home....and real life beckons you to come out and live....

Gerry is an incredibly gifted & talented actor....every scene he does in this movie is amazing....in an interview once he said he spent 4 or five months crying....listening to the saddest notes he's ever heard...gosh...I wish I could remember where that interview is.....

Edited by Trouble
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Copying this from my original post here: http://www.gerardbutlergals.com/forums/ind...c=10002&hl=

I just wanted to bring out another side of the picture, in discussing this fascinating interview, given by Gerry.

I was really struck by the comment he made, regarding his experience playing the Phantom, as compared with fleshing out the physicality of Leonidas. It is a very brief comment, but I think alludes to the fact, that even after he has moved onto play other GREAT roles, the Phantom still remains with him.

This particular comment confirms everything I have come to believe about Gerry.... and as someone who is learning to be a writer, for me this comment is so beautifully stated:

"So, if you were to compare this to “The Phantom of the Opera,” where I felt like I spent four or five months listening to the saddest notes in my soul and crying all the time, no, “300” has not been like that."

I cannot express how impressed I am, that this man would listen to the saddest notes in his soul.... when so many people do everything possible to avoid that painful truth about themselves; that sensitive place of personal sadness and darkness.

Gerry plumbs the depths of his own experiences and emotional life in order to connect with his characters in a visceral way.

I think by listening to his own inner voice.... he hears the voice of his characters, and that tells him which way to go with a role.

His "method" of acting appears to be a merging of his own soul, with the "soul" of his characters... so it's not all him, or all the character we see up on the screen... it is a perfect blending of the two.

I definitely felt this with the Phantom, and I have seen it with other characters as well. Gerry expresses his character's souls through every aspect of his person; and this dictates how the character will move, his body language, facial expressions, vocal inflections and personality traits.

This man is a thinker who brings rare intelligent insightfulness to his roles. He has an instinct to discover and then reveal the truth about a character, both for himself, and for his audience.

This is evident in how he fought Joel, who seemed to want to bring out the Phantom's sexiness, while Gerry wanted to focus more on his sadness. He made later comments, that he "got them both in there somehow"; both the sadness and sexiness... and of course we all know, those are the exact qualities that stole our hearts and made us love the Phantom.

As Gerry gains more power to choose his roles, and to play them as HE sees the character... I can only think that we, the audience, shall be treated to many more fabulous hours at the theater.

As more of his layers are peeled away.... Gerry continues to fascinate and delight me.

Any thoughts?

Swannie

In January of 2006, CBR News trekked up to a rather cold Montreal for a personal set visit for the film “300.” As the only press on the set that day, we were given incredible access to the stars and producers of the film. All this week, we'll bring you those interviews and our own set visit report.

“300” tells the story of King Leonidas of Sparta, who in 480 BC with 300 of his personal guard held the pass at Thermopylae against hundreds of thousands of Persian soldiers under the command of Xerxes. By all accounts, this was one of the most important battles in modern history. Following the outcome of the Battle of Thermopylae, the various Green kingdoms joined forces, ultimately defeating the Persian invaders, giving rise to the Greek empire and the first vestiges of democracy.

We start out our coverage of the film by talking with “300” star Gerard Butler, who plays the powerful King Leonidas. Butler had to work out extensively for the part, with intense work out sessions daily to prepare for the role. Our discussion lasted about 25 minutes and took place following one of those work out sessions, prior to the start of shooting that day.

“300” hits theaters March 9th.

Gerard, how are you holding up? This has been a pretty grueling production, on top of which you've had to go through some very intense physical training and it's a very challenging part you're playing.

It has been, but then again that's OK. I've taken on a lot of roles in the past that have required a serious amount of training and preparation. I don't think I've ever had to work quite as hard as I have for this in terms of physicality, but it was only a matter of degree – maybe an extra 15-20%. I'm used to it and I love that. I love when your work is cut out for you and you've got to keep your head down and do a lot of grafting and you go through a lot of pain and endurance, so you almost feel like you've earned the film once it's all done. When you see it, the experience is that much more memorable. It enhances your memory.

So, through that pain it's been amazing, but it's been long hours. I'm training every second I get, whether with the stunt guys or especially with Mark [owner of Gym Jones, the team that trained with the cast]. I was doing that for two and a half months before the movie started, six days a week. At one point I was over doing it. I had two trainers – I was training in two different gyms and I was training with stunt guys everyday, so some days I was doing six hours a day. After a few months your body really can't take that anymore, so come Christmas time I was considering getting a zimmer frame (walker) when I went back to Scotland, or getting a wheel chair to get some rest. I have a lot of aches and pains and I'm looking forward to the rest.

Has it been primarily weight training or fight training?

When you train with the stunt guys, it's learning your sword and shield, which I've used before, but these guys have a very specific technique which is kind of Pilipino influenced. It really works in terms of the Spartan warriors because it's not that different. Then, also, you learn your spear, which is a whole different thing completely, learning the ways of movement and learning to work as a team, because that's what the Spartan's did. They worked as a unit. Then of course you're talking about it being filmed and you want to make sure it looks amazing, so you're doubly concerned with making the line look accurate, to walk together, work together, to do things in unison. And with sword fighting, there's a big difference between good with the sword and being really good with the sword – knowing how to move, what part of the body comes first, how you move the arm, how to make a strong finish, how to use your feet, all those things. That all just comes with practice and watching these guys who are the best I've ever seen. They're really incredible.

Do you enjoy that side of this, the combat fighting?

I love it. I have some great pieces in here. There's this one piece which I think might be one of the longest action pieces any actor has had to do uncut. It was crazy and took so much work. I have to say those days that I did it, I was so pumped up and full of testosterone and full of nerves. It's tough because you have hundreds of Persians running at you and they're covered up – you don't know who's who. When you do it in the gym, you know who's who – “Oh, that's Johnny and there's Chris, then it's Max.” – but suddenly you have all these anonymous guys running at you full speed and you react a lot differently. It's crazy!

We were using this special camera rig with three cameras on it wrapped together and there were a lot of technical problems, so, sometimes if you mess up a shot, you wait 50 minutes to go again. So, you're pumped up, I'm working the weights, you're ready, you're warm, you're so full of energy and suddenly it stops. That's hard. You get this sort of empty, sick feeling because you just want to go. But, yeah, I love it. It's a buzz. It's exciting.

You've talked about the physical demands of this part, but what about the mental demands of playing a character like Leonidas. Are they there? Are they bigger than any other previous part?

No, they're not bigger. The tests mentally and emotionally I haven't felt as powerfully in this. The one thing about the Spartans is that a lot of times they are very emotionless and, in fact, that's part of what makes the movie so powerful at the end because you suddenly get a measure of just who these men were. Of course, these men have emotion, but they keep it so down inside because everything about them is power and control and fearlessness that any of that emotion is stuffed down inside deep. And with me playing the King, I think I feel it more than anyone because I always have to play against it, even more so in those particular moments of say, remembering my wife at the end. Rather than play into that, you play against it. Your way of dealing with that emotion finds you closing up even more. So, if you were to compare this to “The Phantom of the Opera,” where I felt like I spent four or five months listening to the saddest notes in my soul and crying all the time, no, “300” has not been like that.

With this movie, I've had to work out how to balance a character that is as powerful as this, yet give him a human element and understand that he's based on a comic character that is so extreme in his masculinity. When you read “300” the comic book, you've never seen guys as tough as this, that go through as much as this, that endure as much as this, that suffer as much as this and they love it. And then, when you're a King, you have to go a step further. But if you push that too far, you loose all connection with the audience and you become a caricature. So, the challenge was really in finding that fine line between these different aspects of the character.

When they approached you about the part, did they hand you the graphic novel first or the script?

The script.

Allright, so you read the script and that excited you, so when did you get the graphic novel?

About a week later.

What did you think of it?

I loved it. I'm not a big comic book guy, I have read them before, but I'm not that guy who would go rifling through comic book stores looking for that one comic book. I loved “Sin City,” I read that comic and have read a number of things from Frank Miller. I love the darkness and masculinity of those characters and their psychological journeys. You really climb into that, especially as a guy. So, I got into them, but when I read “300,” I treated it as a film. I'm not making a comic book, I'm making a film. The script on its own was phenomenal. I read it and thought it was so unusual, and this was before I realized how much influence the comic book was going to have on the film. Often a film made from a comic book, it's just used as the basis for the film. Whereas here we are very much stylizing our presentation and at times completely replicating the comic and that's the tone and feel Zack [snyder, director] is trying to get.

In a way, I wish we could have pushed it as far as the comic book had, but then you'd be making a movie where your boundaries become smaller in so much as you define it more and it becomes appealing to less people. I think we have a great balance where there is emotion, there's toughness, there's brutality, it's ferocious, but it's also a phenomenal story that moves you and is interesting with great politics in there. It has it all going on. Whereas, in the beginning of the comic book, the Captain almost kills his best friend because he beats up one of his soldiers, and you think, well, at least he's caring for his soldier, but then he commands his soldier to carry his Captain back when the soldier has already fallen from exhaustion. So, I'm left wondering if these guys are tough or just pure evil! [laughs] We get that these guys love to fight. That's what they were born to do and that's what they lived their lives to do. But there's all this other stuff for these guys, dealing with what happens when loved ones have to go and leave to fight a war. We focus nicely on that – knowing you have to leave your spouse and your child with the knowledge that there's every chance you might not see them again, so we explore what is going through their minds as well, both on the battle field and back at home. But, it doesn't dwell too much on that. It just feels to me like a really fresh and original way of telling this story. We've taken a lot more angles and risks than most of the similar stories I've watched.

The unique stylization of the film, and the story itself, helps allow it to really contrast against recent films like “Alexander” and “Troy,” allowing it to help break out on its own and rise above the noise left by those other sand and sandals films.

I really do think it will live on its own. Having worked on this and having seen those other movies, it doesn't remind me of them in any way. Not at all.

What struck you the most about the part of Leonidas?

I love these kind of roles, but I think that right from the top of the story you see already that you're dealing with, well, in some ways he's laid out as your typical heel – he's a ruler, you know what he's been through to get there, it's spelled out what an incredible life he's had and that he was basically born a ruler, he just was of that blood. Then he immediately kills his messenger and all his men, just for simply bringing him news. So, you begin to realize you're not just dealing with your typical heel. This is what I love about not just this character, but this story, in so much as there's a framework set-up that they're only defending themselves, but within that framework is an element that shows in a way we're the bad guys. What frustrates me with watching movies normally is you always have to wait for your hero to get his arse kicked before they finally stand up, dust themselves off and say enough's enough. It's kind of the opposite in this film. We're there right from the start. We toy with our aggressors, we taunt them, we almost encourage them. We have an almost simplistic view in the way life works – we do not bow down to anybody and we live as free men. That's where we're going with this film.

Talk about some of the more precarious moments you've had in filming “300.” Any scary moments for you?

My oddest moment was today, in fact, when I left my house. It's funny, I've picked up a few injuries on this film. I have a pulled tendon in my arm right now. I've pulled my hip flexer. I got drop foot and literally my foot was out of control for a week.

Drop foot?

Well, I damaged a nerve in my leg which caused the nerve in my foot to essentially die and my foot would just flop around.

That must have been scary!

It was because I didn't know exactly what was happening. I kept tripping because you don't know what your foot is doing. I would trip over curbs. I'd be standing in the gym, I'd go to move and I'd just fall over because my foot wouldn't move.

But, today, I was late for work again, I was running down the stairs in my house with my boots laid open, and I tripped over my boots and almost went head first down the stairs. At the last second, I grabbed the banister and was hanging over the stairs. My heart was in my mouth! If I had fallen, the way I had fallen, it would have been bad.

I've seen three guys carted off to hospital during this film – we're fighting in close quarters, I've smashed knuckles, I've been banged in the head and I've banged people in the head. But, how funny, that I could have injured myself to such an extent that I couldn't work, just leaving my house.

Zack would not have been happy with you!

I wouldn't have been happy with me. That would have broken my heart.

How'd you get involved in this role? How did that all come together for you?

I was sent the script by my agent and they set-up a meeting with Zack. And, that meeting, you've never seen two more passionate characters. I think everyone thought we were crazy. I was up and about, telling everyone about the physicality of these guys and how they would move and how they would fight, and I'm literally acting it out and throwing myself about. And then here's Zack who's a total fitness freak and such a strong guy. It's rare you get a director who really understands power and understands violence. This guy has trained with cops and the Navy Seals. So, in that meeting, he's there, he's punching the table and we were just both everywhere! When I left that meeting, I was hoping it went as well as I thought it did, and it did. Then, from there, the producers showed me this three minute preview that they did for the studio and it was then that I really understood where they were going with the movie and it was then that the pain started. Immediately the fear set in, “What if this doesn't happen? What if I don't do this?” Then it was just a waiting game. The film hadn't even been green lit at that point. But I was now armed with as much information as I needed to make a decision based on the script, the comic book and this three minute preview. That was really helpful – the preview is like three minutes of action and the tone and style of the film, but I could watch that all day. I could just put it in on a loop and watch it over and over again. Some days I'll ask for them to turn it on again and it's been like eight months that I've been seeing this thing! [laughs]

What's the next kind of roll you'd like to do to follow this?

Something completely different. I don't like doing two things that are the same back to back. I think I'm off to do a thriller next in Vancouver. It would be myself and Maria Bello and Pierce Brosnan. I haven't actually done a thrilled in America yet and I really like this script. It's not 100% definite, but it's looking good. [The film is “Butterfly On A Wheel.”] I couldn't go and do something like this again – I just don't have the energy. But I feel like I've paced myself just right. I almost over did it, but I think I'm going to survive it because I can see the end is in sight.

This movie employs extensive use of green screens for special effects to be added later and very few natural sets. Green screen acting – especially on this scale – is that really a challenge for you as an actor?

Yeah. I don't love green screen because the pay off with green screen is at the end of the production, but seeing that preview was very helpful. When I saw that I realized just how incredible this film is going to look on an artistic level. They've gone to a place that they really didn't have to go, they could have made it a lot easier on themselves, but they are really trying to create a world that we haven't seen before. A fantastical, dream like world that really puts you in a mood with every scene. It's so visually exciting it will literally take your breath away.

The pay off for that is in the end, but unfortunately I don't fooking see that when I'm filming! [laughs] I just see green screen. That's really been one of my big challenges – finding that fine line between the human Leonidas and the comic book Leonidas and also trying to find that within the framework of working on unnatural sets inside a studio. But, the strange thing is, you can't help but let that affect your performance slightly and in a way it kind of gives an off kilter, slightly off balance performance, which I kind of love. It works perfectly with the whole feel of this film. So, I'm trusting that I haven't made a huge mistake in trusting that! [laughs] That's why I kind of feel like the pressure is taken off me a bit because when you see the design and style of this film, it comes through nicely. When you see that trailer and artwork, people will form their own judgments and I'm pretty confident that people will never have seen an epic laid out like this and presented like this.

Thanks, Gerard.

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Thanks Swann! I Knew you knew where that article was! And I love your comment & observations as well! I'm saving your post for future reference!

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:cunning:

:yippee:

HEY HELLO TROUBLE....

IT SUITS YOU GAL.... :wave:

Now Debrasue I wrote you the longest pm last night....I was so tired I pressed some zapper button on here and it DISAPPEARED..... :bonk:

Anyway...good to be back if only for a little while....I've been lurking....I want to read some Phanty fanfic soon...direct me girls.....but I've got a friend staying from Norway for a few days and then off to London to do some theatre...Orlando Bloom no less and hopefully Sound of Music...don't know for sure yet...if not a lot of Art Gallery's and I'll try to spot Gerry if he's still in the UK ..... so I'll be missing in action for a little while longer..... :cunning:

One thing that's been worrying me GALS..where's Lolita? is she with him in the UK and then Australia......?

Oh and TROUBLE....hey this is going to take some getting used to......

THAT SONG COULD AT THE END....APPLY TO BOTH OF THEM...HENCE THE NEED FOR A SEQUEL..... :inlove:

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If I should stay,

I would only be in your way.

Posted Image

So I'll go, but I know

I'll think of you ev'ry step of the way.

Posted Image

And I will always love you.

I will always love you.

You, my darling you.

Bittersweet memories

that is all I'm taking with me.

Posted Image

So, goodbye. Please, don't cry.

We both know I'm not what you, you need.

Posted Image

And I will always love you.

I will always love you.

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I hope life treats you kind

And I hope you have all you've dreamed of.

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And I wish to you, joy and happiness.

But above all this, I wish you love.

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And I will always love you.

I will always love you.

I will always love you.

I will always love you.

I will always love you.

I, I will always love you.

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By Dolly Parton

:lolita:

xmargx

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*Shameless plug* MARGE.... read my Phantom Fiction: here is the intro:

Chanson de L’ange

(The Angel’s Song)

by Paisley Swan Stewart © 2005

A retelling of Gaston Leroux’s Phantom of The Opera;

Inspired by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Musical;

And the performance of Gerard Butler

In February 2005, I began writing Chanson de L'ange... having no notion of what I was getting myself into. With my writing experience limited primarily to songs, poetry and short essays... I had never even considered the possibility of writing a serious work... until Dec 2004, when I saw the ALW film version of The Phantom of the Opera.

My unexpected two year endeavor has compelled me to work long hours, to spend many sleepless nights with my laptop, and to stretch my capabilities far beyond their natural course. Two years into the writing... I am about 3/4 the way through.... with much more to come.

For this telling of Phantom of the Opera, I remain true to certain key elements of the Classic novella by Gaston Leroux, while veering drastically in others, and giving my story a truly original soul.

Chanson de L'ange begins with 10 year old Christine Daae, burying her beloved father; Gustave Daae, on a snowy winter afternoon. Following her father's death, and having no living relatives... Christine is taken to live at the Paris Opera House as an orphan, under the care of the mysterious Madame Giry. Christine is enrolled in the Opera's ballet conservatory, where she encounters a bizarre and bohemian world of eccentric performers, and colorful characters. In the Opera's gloomy corridors and cellars, she learns the legend of the Opera Ghost, as she struggles to recover from the unrelenting grief of her violinist father's death, and her tragic loss of the only love and security she has ever known.

As the days months go by, Christine clings to her fanciful belief that her father will return as the Angel of Music, to watch over and care for her, as he promised on his deathbed. While she nightly sings and prays for her angel's visitation, she is unaware that someone is secretly watching and listening.

One spring morning, when Christine visits the cemetery to say a final farewell to her father, the haunting strains of a violin near his grave, convince the lonely child, that her dreams have come true, and that her father has returned as an unseen angel.

This heavenly visitation opens the doors to both dreams and nightmares, as Christine's Angel of Music, slowly and methodically makes himself known.

My story spans a more than 50 year journey, fraught with joys and sorrows; theater, music and madness; sensuality and innocent romance... and dangerous, all consuming obsession.

This young woman will ultimately discover that not all angels have wings, and not all devils are what they seem.

This story is rated PG13 for language; sexuality; violence and intense adult themes.

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Forward from the author:

From a very young age, I seemed to recognize and recoil from man's cruelty to man. I hurt profoundly when children were teased and tortured by other children because of their flawed appearance. It bruised and battered my soul when insults were flung at these unfortunate outcasts. To see their innocent wide eye's well up with tears filled me with painful empathy. I was always conscious of being sad, and of feeling too deeply for a child my age. I recall adults telling me to smile more...but I saw little to smile about. So I retreated into a world of my own imagining. A world of beautiful stories...of fairy tales and magic. I spent hours huddled alone in the back of my bedroom closet, singing to myself, utterly withdrawn from the harsh reality of my home. Mother often found me there with a book, and my favorite doll tucked under my arm.

I was very shy and barely spoke unless spoken to...a result of my step father's constant haranguing for me to "shut the hell up." He and my mother were married when I was only two, and he had no use for a noisy toddler under foot. So I grew up quiet, serious, introspective and lonely.

I was not a beautiful child like most of my sisters. Skinny and awkward in eye glasses worn from the second grade, I did not fit in. I was unhealthy, and by the time I entered the third grade, I'd had several serious illnesses. My eyes were too big behind the large glasses, my complexion too pale, and I dressed in unstylish clothes hand sewn by my mother. I did not play with other children. I found their games cruel, and chose to remain in the house while they played kick ball and hide-n-seek outdoors. The neighbors called me "the mole", and I was subject to endless teasing.

I do not recall much about my pre teens. Those years remain shrouded in a fog of family secrets, and my step father's escalating alcoholism. I had not seen my real father from the time of my mother's divorce, and my step father was a poor substitute. Though he never touched me inappropriately, years later I was to learn that he sexually abused four of my sisters. His poison seeped through the entire family, and I sought further escape through books, movies and music.

Unlike most girls my age, I gravitated to musicals and movies from the 30's 40's and 50's. Often I stayed up late into the night watching old black and white horror films...like Dracula, Frankenstein, King Kong and others. I found myself sympathetic to these monsters, perhaps relating to their outcast stories, and forced solitude.

I first saw the black and white Lon Chaney version of Phantom of the Opera when I was about eleven. I recall feeling frightened but fascinated by the masked Phantom; the movie's man/monster Erik. I cried at the film's sad ending, wishing that Christine had loved and stayed with him. Later I saw the colorful version of Phantom staring Claude Raines, and developed my first crush on a movie actor. I was enthralled by his soft voice floating through the mirror, and the melancholy melody he played on the violin. I thought him so handsome in the mysterious white mask, and was captivated by his efforts to win the love of the young opera singer. I found the music, and romance a potent pull on my young heart.

Though I was too young to recognize these feelings as remotely sexual, I fell in love with The Phantom Of The Opera.

Finally in my mid teens I discovered that I could sing...that I had a naturally lovely singing voice, a further identification with the Phantom story. I studied classical voice, and played leading roles in musicals through high school and my early 20's. At last I discovered a world where I could completely escape from reality. Theater was a world of joy, filling me with the self esteem I had been denied my whole life.

Music became a complete world for me...a fantasy escape from pain and disappointments. Even after I discontinued my involvement in theater, I never lost my love of that world.

And then in the early 90's my husband and I bought tickets for Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom Of The Opera, staring Michael Crawford.

I shall never forget the first dark chords of the commanding organ as the gold and crystal chandelier rose magically from the stage, swinging high above the gasping audience. Yet when the Phantom first appeared in the misty mirror, I forgot everything else around me; the audience, the auditorium all receded into a soft blur.

I saw only the Phantom. Here was my childhood fantasy, dressed in elegant tails and black opera cloak, gracefully prowling across the stage...the half mask erotic and spell binding. As an adult woman, I immediately recognized the shocking sexual pull of this Phantom. I sat breathless as the tragic story echoed through the auditorium with Webber's soaring music. The candle lit stage; the way the Phantom moved...his sensual hands; each gesture informed with palatable sexual tension. The way he held Christine... touched her, and desired her. The rising and falling of his chest, and the power of his voice...I found it all overwhelming, a sweet hypnotic assault on my senses.

But the Phantom is so much more...he is a man of superior intellect and artistic intelligence. He is humorous, sarcastic and charming. He could have been a great and well known composer or architect, or perhaps occupied a seat of power in world government. Yet he is denied everything his gifts could have achieved because of a hideous facial deformity. The madness and violence of his isolation assure that he will never know the love of a woman.

He is forced always to remain on the outside looking in, and can never know the warmth of human touch. His soul is twisted, his psyche damaged, and he aches for love and acceptance in his self imposed prison beneath the Opera House. Above him in the world of the Opera, colorful life swirls with music, young romance, and wide arching dreams of the beautiful people. The Phantom exists as a shadow, a ghost...a haunted creature to be feared and obeyed...

Yet he is only a man who desires life in the daylight. Who craves someone to share his world, his heart and his body.

Beneath the the suave sexual façade of the mask, Erik the man is nothing more than a lost little boy who longs to be kissed. A creature of ugliness with a noble heart. A creature shunned by the world, for an accident of nature... Phantom is a tragic fairy tale of ancient beginnings.

After seeing the play, I read every novel I could find about the Phantom, including the original by Gaston Leroux. My childhood fascination with the story had grown into a full fledged grown-up near obsession which surfaced with each new telling of the beloved story.

The beautiful new film staring Gerard Butler as the Phantom has once again stirred my passion for this tragic tale. Memories of a lost little girl sitting in the flickering light of an old black and white television are as fresh as yesterday. I saw myself in Erik all those years ago, and longed for his story to end happily. I fell in love with his complex brooding nature, and willed myself into his story as the one person who would truly love and understand him; myself having known rejection and loneliness.

For my own life...the story will have a happy ending, because despite my emotional and physical flaws, I did at last find true love, and a deep abiding faith in God. As I mature I find that my own need for masks and disguises diminishes, and I am learning to love myself for who I am...as poor Erik never could.

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Prologue:

Looking back on the events of those days, I concede it is only now through adult eyes that I can even begin to describe what happened to me. All childish innocence and ignorance have faded into water-color sepia photographs, aged and hopelessly romanticized. The girl I once was is little more than a stranger to me now, a far removed shadow of the woman I am today.

I often wish I could have prepared and yes even warned her about the things which were to come... but even if I could have, would I? And would it have changed anything...if she...if I had chosen differently, if I had understood and known the truth? Or was I in some way destined to make that strange journey, irresistibly drawn to him for a greater purpose and fulfillment than I could possibly imagine?

My woman’s heart willingly embraces the truth now... and I must tell it. Though even after all these years it still threatens to split my soul asunder... I must speak of it.

They say that pain is a patient teacher, that a wound burns and bleeds to purge itself of life threatening infections. Pain is a warning against danger and alerts one to escape further injury by avoiding the behavior which causes the pain. Most flesh wounds if treated swiftly and with the prescribed medication heal in time, perhaps leaving the slightest scar, hardly visible.

But emotional pain is a vicious tearing force, capable of inflicting wounds so deep that no balm, and no stitching of flesh together can ever bring wholeness to the sufferer. These scars mar more than the surface of the skin, burrowing into the recesses of the mind and deforming every intention. This pain paralyzes the soul and renders one the shell of a human being, who desperately reaches out through a haze of devastation and inconsolable grief, for a reason to live.

No one knows for certain why some souls must taste unbearable pain and suffering, whether self inflicted, or carelessly inflicted by others. Why some creatures are chosen for sorrow, and others destined for joy. We do not choose our place or time in the world, nor can we change our past. Each soul is blessed with the spirit of life, and with the power to make the best of what it is given. The power to love or to hate; to heal or to wound; to shed blood and draw the darkness of hell up into the world, or to rise above the pain and the heartache... to fearlessly lift our eyes heavenward, and make the music of angels.

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You can read it here: http://www.gerardbutlergals.com/forums/ind...p?showtopic=180

Here: http://p100.ezboard.com/fgerardbutlerdotne...opicID=19.topic

Or here: http://www.pinardproductions.com/chansondelange/chanson.html

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Hey! Hi xmargx! Nice to see you here! Lucky Gal...you get to go to London & the theater!...Wish I were there....Have lotsa fun! Don't know about Lolita...kinda hard to travel as much as Gerry does & take a dog....I think quarantine is about two weeks from country to country by plane....but I could be mistaken...again! LOL!

Yes marg...when I was thinking of this song last night I did see it from both perspectives...kinda hard to find just the right photos to make it work the way I wanted....a video would probably work better...right Erica?

ETS....Hey...I was just off to get the links to your Chanson, Swann!....you're just tooo fast! LOL!

I love reading your prologue, Swann...moves me every time!

Edited by Trouble
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No song for this one....it's just nice to look at....

Don't forget to click!

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OMG,that picture has also made my day...I love the Red Death outfit....thank you for posting this picture,Deb and you are right the picture is very nice to look at...
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:wave: Peggy....I see you! Just a quick visit in the Lair to say hi and try and read whats going on and of course get some Phantom inspiration! Great song and great pics Debrasue.... Good way to start my day. Swannie, if ever I get time I will read but lately I have none!! Sorry to read and run but I have to be ready in a half hour so jumping in the shower and off to the bar! Have a wonderful week-end my sistahs!

Ladyfran of the Lair 'Mistress of the Masters Cherished Violin'

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Debrasue - that song has always just torn my heart out. Especially Dolly Parton's version. You can just feel the emotion when she sings it. She's a talented songwriter and performer.

Swannie, you gave us such a wonderful insight into Gerry. Thanks for finding and posting that article again. I'm so glad that we get to see him do such a wide variety of roles. I would hate to see him get pigeon-holed as just an action star with the success of 300. But he seems to have to ability to continue to stretch himself and reveal more and more layers to his talent.

I will watch every role that he creates but I think Phantom will be the one that will always touch my heart the most.

Oh, I'm just loving seeing this wonderful thread moving again. It's great to see folks chiming back in. Like an old friend moving back home.

Hugs to all today,

Jilly

Jillian, Mistress of the Night

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