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3/26 - Gerard Butler would have dodged explosions in law school, too


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from: http://www.nationalpost.com/arts/story.html?id=401592

Posted on Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Bob Thompson, National Post

Gerard Butler would have dodged explosions in law school, too

Thank you! Knight Phantom! :thankyou:

Gerard Butler can play a wily warrior or a sensitive sort. In Nim's Island, he gets to play both. Opening April 4, the action-fantasy film features Butler as a marine biologist living on a tropical island with his young daughter (Abigail Breslin).

In assorted make-believe moments he's also seen as the world's greatest adventurer, the hero of a series of books written by an agoraphobic San Francisco author (Jodie Foster).

When the father goes missing from the island, a series of events brings the writer and the child together to help save him. And while all three actors have their moments, the picture's truly an ensemble.

"It's sort of half Alice in Wonderland meets Huckleberry Finn, and half showing a regular sort of life," Butler says of the movie shot in Australia last summer. "It has a good sense of fun about it and it's a really nice idea to show survival in all sorts of ways."

Nim's Island also turns out to be an appropriate change of pace for the versatile actor, especially after the macho-man performance in the Spartan war epic 300 that vaulted him to action-star status.

Earlier this year, he also got in touch with his romantic side opposite Hilary Swank in the romantic comedy P.S. I Love You. But that's not to say he's abandoned the tough guy parts.

For instance, Butler recently wrapped Game, by the Crank filmmaking team of Mark Develdine and Brian Taylor. In the futuristic thriller opening next year, Butler plays Kable, a top-ranked warrior in a highly rated online contest in which humans control the action.

Expect lots of automatic weapon fire, multiple big bangs and the lead actor to be ducking between his dives and his dodges.

"I probably had to run through 200 explosions," he estimates of the shoot, filmed mostly in and around New Mexico. "There was a massive one right behind me and of course I'm wearing sleeves rolled up to my arms and not much else but the fatigue clothes protecting me."

To make matters even more intimidating, Butler says the assistant director was warning other cast and crew to cover their skin and stay at least 100 feet from the bomb site just before the detonation. "I'm like 20 feet away listening to this," recalls the actor.

The scene and the bomb went off without injury or incident. And despite those hardships, Butler says he's enthusiastic about Game's prospects, just as he had been previously with what became the blockbuster hit 300.

"In actual fact Game wasn't an obvious choice for me," he says. "There were bigger budgeted and more obvious films that I could've done, but I felt these guys have an incredible imagination and a freshness and an edge and a risk-taking about them."

The Glaswegian could be talking about himself. Once a lawyer-in-training, then a rock 'n' roller, he headed to London for a change of scenery and lucked into the lead in the 1996 stage adaptation of Trainspotting.

He later won positive notices movie parts roles in Mrs. Brown and the James Bond flick Tomorrow Never Dies. He was the title character in Wes Craven Presents: Dracula 2000, but more importantly earned international fame playing opposite Angelina Jolie in 2003's Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life.

Over the next three years, he mostly missed the mark in Phantom of the Opera, Beowulf and Grendel and The Game of Their Lives. But 300 changed all that. Now he's a movie star with an independent-minded actor's attitude, coping with the adulation and the attention, which he avoids whenever possible.

"The thing is I'm a nice guy, so I'm not so good at saying to a fan, ‘I don't give a f--k about your reaction," Butler confesses. "So I'm like, ‘Ah, come here.' Then before I know it I'm stuck in a 10-minute conversation with someone who's crying from joy."

As he says, the alternative - nobody knowing or caring who is - "is a lot less interesting."

"And career wise, there's a feeling of momentum," he adds. "There's a foundation and it's a pleasant feeling."

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Me too! I adore him . . . he is so genuine and generous. Kinda bummed for what they said about POTO, but over all that was a very good and positive article. I like that the writer called him a versatile actor. Glad someone else sees it!

Thanks so much - I love reading more positive things about the wonderful man . . . and reading how he cares about his fans still . . . :wuv:

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It's very kinf to think at his fans in an interview ... He could speak about the inconvenient of the success and he finds the sweet words to speak about fans ... Chapeau bas Monsieur Butler !

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Now he's a movie star with an independent-minded actor's attitude, coping with the adulation and the attention, which he avoids whenever possible.

"The thing is I'm a nice guy, so I'm not so good at saying to a fan, 'I don't give a f--k about your reaction," Butler confesses. "So I'm like, 'Ah, come here.' Then before I know it I'm stuck in a 10-minute conversation with someone who's crying from joy."

As he says, the alternative - nobody knowing or caring who is - "is a lot less interesting."

:goodjob: Atta Boy, Gerry. Keep the interviews coming. :dancer: Best way for people to know who you are!! The author :lalala: of the article was the one who missed with his POTO comment. I'm glad GB still thinks enough of his fans to make the statement I quoted above. We definitely want his life to be interesting! :wow2:

Liana

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Add me to the list of those who like the interview but are in TOTAL DISAGREEMENT that Gerry "missed his mark" with Phantom. Obviously the writer doesn't realize that his fan base increased by geometric proportions because of Phantom so even if the idiot critics didn't like it the movie was far, far from a "missed mark" in Gerry's career. Many of us might still not know who he is if not for Phantom of the Opera, and I'd probably be one of them. And Gerry- if you ever, EVER grant me 10 minutes to talk to you I promise I won't cry - not even from joy!
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Over the next three years, he mostly missed the mark in Phantom of the Opera, Beowulf and Grendel and The Game of Their Lives. But 300 changed all that. Now he's a movie star with an independent-minded actor's attitude, coping with the adulation and the attention, which he avoids whenever possible.

"The thing is I'm a nice guy, so I'm not so good at saying to a fan, ‘I don't give a f--k about your reaction," Butler confesses. "So I'm like, ‘Ah, come here.' Then before I know it I'm stuck in a 10-minute conversation with someone who's crying from joy."

As he says, the alternative - nobody knowing or caring who is - "is a lot less interesting."

"And career wise, there's a feeling of momentum," he adds. "There's a foundation and it's a pleasant feeling."

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Overall, I enjoyed this article, but it does sound to me like the writer may have cut and paste some of Gerry's comments.

Based on Gerry's comments regarding fandom, it appears our guy has been forced to take a more realistic attitude toward his fans. He still makes an effort to be kind when he encounters fans, but obviously, the shine of that has worn off a bit, and I can see how it would.

Swannie

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I have actually seen an almost identical comment from him like that in a previous interview from quite some time back, so I don't know if it is entirely new or not.
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Now he's a movie star with an independent-minded actor's attitude, coping with the adulation and the attention, which he avoids whenever possible

Gerry may be wishing for a bit more privacy at times, but he is certainly not going out of his way to avoid attention and adulation!

And I also disagree with the "missing the mark" statement. Box office wise, yes, those movies may have "missed the mark" but I thought Gerry did quite well in all of those mentioned films!!

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I have actually seen an almost identical comment from him like that in a previous interview from quite some time back, so I don't know if it is entirely new or not.

That's what I was thinking Susan. It sounds like some of Gerry's comments were lifted out of their original context, or that some of what he actually said may have been edited out.

Swannie

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I know some people might be upset by these remarks, but I really don't think it's so much about how big he's getting... but about how he's had to adjust to his new status as a sought after actor. Fan attention can go both ways. In the early days of his career, I can see how he would have enjoyed hearing the personal stories from fans who have been moved and touched by his work. But after a while, I would think it would be difficult dealing with that kind of adoration.

I'm quite certain he'll take some flack for his remarks about the fans in this article... because those comments suggest that in truth he does not give a f**k about how his fans feel about him, and that he just plays along to be nice.

I hope that's not true, but if it is, I guess that's his new reality.

Swannie

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I have actually seen an almost identical comment from him like that in a previous interview from quite some time back, so I don't know if it is entirely new or not.

That's what I was thinking Susan. It sounds like some of Gerry's comments were lifted out of their original context, or that some of what he actually said may have been edited out.

Swannie

I remember reading something like this a few months ago and my reaction was: "Yikes! Women cry when they meet him?" Meaning that it must be hard to deal with--strangers knowing so much about you and losing control when they meet you. I don't think these comments, which are always edited and taken out of context for articles, are any real indication that he doesn't care about fans anymore. It just may be getting too much for him, now that he is better known. Just my take on it. :kisswink:

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I know some people might be upset by these remarks, but I really don't think it's so much about how big he's getting... but about how he's had to adjust to his new status as a sought after actor. Fan attention can go both ways. In the early days of his career, I can see how he would have enjoyed hearing the personal stories from fans who have been moved and touched by his work. But after a while, I would think it would be difficult dealing with that kind of adoration.

I'm quite certain he'll take some flack for his remarks about the fans in this article... because those comments suggest that in truth he does not give a f**k about how his fans feel about him, and that he just plays along to be nice.

I hope that's not true, but if it is, I guess that's his new reality.

Swannie

I read this and I thought, "Uh oh, it's happening! Hollywood is getting to him." I hope it is indeed taken out of context because I have to admit as a fan of Gerry's, the comment did sort of kind of hurt my feelings. Even though I can understand where he's coming from, it did nevertheless hurt a bit. :stars:

~ Donna Lee

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I know some people might be upset by these remarks, but I really don't think it's so much about how big he's getting... but about how he's had to adjust to his new status as a sought after actor. Fan attention can go both ways. In the early days of his career, I can see how he would have enjoyed hearing the personal stories from fans who have been moved and touched by his work. But after a while, I would think it would be difficult dealing with that kind of adoration.

I'm quite certain he'll take some flack for his remarks about the fans in this article... because those comments suggest that in truth he does not give a f**k about how his fans feel about him, and that he just plays along to be nice.

I hope that's not true, but if it is, I guess that's his new reality.

Swannie

I read this and I thought, "Uh oh, it's happening! Hollywood is getting to him." I hope it is indeed taken out of context because I have to admit as a fan of Gerry's, the comment did sort of kind of hurt my feelings. Even though I can understand where he's coming from, it did nevertheless hurt a bit. :stars:

~ Donna Lee

Donna Lee... I'm sure you are not alone in your feelings being hurt. Just remember all the wonderful things Gerry has said about his fans in the past. Think about his phone call to Bethy, and how he has consistently shown his appreciation for his fans. Things may be different for him now, but his past encounters with fans, IMO were genuine. I do not believe he was playing a role.

It's just that we must all make adjustments to changes in our lives, and Gerry is no different.

Swannie

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How many other actors do conference call interviews with their fan sites before the premiere of their movies (and he's done 3 so far)? I know there are other actors who enjoy the adulation of their fans, who always try to take out to meet and greet them at premieres - and Gerry has done that too, even if just briefly. When I read a comment like that I try to put myself into his shoes and out of my own (although truth be told I'd like us BOTH to be barefoot, but I digress).... How must it feel to have someone come up to you on the street, or in Starbucks, or while eating lunch, and start to go on and on about how much his work has meant, to start to cry or hyperventilate? I think it must be strange feeling to have people who are strangers to you acting as though you are a member of their family. I know most of us care about Gerry as though he was a member of our family - we want him happy, safe, healthy, we follow his career, we follow his movements when he is out and about, we can post for pages and pages about a gesture, a smile, a frown, a word. But if we happen to meet him he knows NOTHING about us. I would think that would sometimes be overwhelming, and the more it happens the more overwhelming it could be. So while I believe Gerry does appreciate his fans, and appreciates how much we care about him and his career, there is also a very different emotional dynamic to what HE feels for us compared to what WE feel for him. For him we are a collective - we are a conglomeration of hundreds or thousands of people under the umbrella of "FANS" - for us he is just Gerry and the amount we know about him could feel very daunting to him.
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I read this and I thought, "Uh oh, it's happening! Hollywood is getting to him." I hope it is indeed taken out of context because I have to admit as a fan of Gerry's, the comment did sort of kind of hurt my feelings. Even though I can understand where he's coming from, it did nevertheless hurt a bit. :stars:

His comments saddened me. I have more thoughts but I didn't have a good day at work and I'm in b***h mode right now so I'm better off keeping them to myself. lol

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Thanks for your encouraging words Swannie!

I do remember his call to Bethy and how the news of that touched everyone of us.

I also remember how he seemed to be as giddy as we all were (on the phone) at the Glasgow Con in 2006.

After reading this article and that little paragraph, I'm just happy to have known Gerry when he was relatively "unknown" and to have been witnessed the magic of the early days.

I hope the magic isn't totally lost with him. Maybe he wasn't in a good mood or maybe it was a bad sandwich the day of this interview. :sick:

~ Donna Lee

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