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7/17 - Butler's career is cruising but it's about to get Ugly

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http://news.therecord.com/arts/article/571036

Butler's career is cruising but it's about to get Ugly

Star of 300 says new film with Katherine Heigl will shock with frankness

July 17, 2009 Ian Spelling

New York Times News Service

Gerard Butler + 300 = life-changer.

"300, that really changed everything," Butler growls in his Scots burr.

And who could disagree? The action epic, released in 2006 with Butler playing the chiseled, manly and righteous warrior hero, King Leonidas, was a surprise hit and transformed him from a potential star into a supernova. Since 300 he has scored modest hits with three very different films: the romance P.S. I Love You (2007), the family fantasy Nim's Island (2008) and Guy Ritchie's acclaimed British crime caper RocknRolla (2008).

"It opened a lot of doors, professionally," Butler says. "I'd been going through doors, I guess. Things had a steady pace and a steady rise to them, but 300 went ballistic. I thought, initially, that after that it would definitely help me in the realm of action movies, but it helped me in everything. I was being offered dramas and romantic comedies too, and it was kind of a dream come true because, at the end of the day, it was what I was really wanting to do, spread my wings and take on new challenges.

"Personally, there's a lot to be said for the fun of having to fight for something when you're on your way up," he continues. "That's when a lot of the fun in acting happens. It's the pressures, the not knowing what's going to happen in a month.

"And when it pays off with something like a 300, something you're proud of and happy with, and it takes off the way it does, it's definitely a dream come true," Butler says. "Then, at that point, it's nice to know that things are going well, that the opportunities will be there, that the train is now going without you having to push it. It's going down the track and it has its own steam."

But with greater fame comes greater scrutiny. Butler may not be a tabloid favourite, but his anonymity is a thing of the past and he admits to mourning the loss.

"Hugely, hugely," Butler says, speaking by telephone from his Manhattan apartment. "I love where my career is going. I love the success of it, I love the opportunities it affords. So I wouldn't want to look a gift horse in the mouth, but I know the trade-offs and I do miss my anonymity.

"The more your career grows, the more you appreciate how much you have valued being under the radar," he says. "You could do whatever you were doing and didn't have to worry about being spotted or being crowded, or about paparazzi. But these issues aren't huge. They can be a bit of an inconvenience, some of them are unexpected, but they're nothing I can't handle, and I wouldn't change anything."

Butler's star promises to shine even brighter with his latest film, The Ugly Truth. The July 24 release casts him as Mike, a chauvinistic morning-show commentator who immediately clashes with his new, romance-leery producer, Abby (Katherine Heigl). Would it surprise anyone to hear that sparks fly between Mike and Abby, even as he helps her try to snag a dreamy surgeon (Eric Winter)?

The film will head into theatres with an R rating, and Butler raucously promises that The Ugly Truth will live up to its rating.

"It's just downright outrageous," he says. "There's definitely going to be a lot of talk about the movie. People are going to say, 'Did he really just say that?"Is that really what's happening between men and women right now?'

"I think its frankness and its openness about what men really think in terms of women, in terms of relationships . . . We talk about it so much, but I've never really heard it being expressed in a movie like I have in this," the actor says. "That, I think, is the difference between this and most romantic comedies. I'm (really) just laughing thinking about it, but it's so outrageous and irreverent and dirty and sexy and squealing and squawking. It's all going on there. It's a veritable orgy."

Butler's partner throughout The Ugly Truth -- besides the gorgeous young twins with whom Mike frolics around -- is Heigl, and the Scot once again lets the colourful adjectives fly when discussing his leading lady.

"She's incredible," he says. "One, she's a very strong character, very, very charismatic. She has both of these things going on, this power, but yet this elegance and beauty and almost an element of innocence about her. She's hilarious, too. At the same time, you don't want to mess with her, either as Katie or as Abby.

"I think the second we got on set the sparks were going, the game was really lifted," Butler says. "You do a rehearsal and she's ready to go. I'm somebody who comes to it in various, different ways. I explode. I'm more, I would say, unpredictable. Not that she's predictable, but Katie never makes a mistake. She's there and she has a great performance pretty much immediately. I don't think I can say that about myself."

The Ugly Truth will kick off a spate of Butler films set for release during the next year. The actor, who will turn 40 in November, plays a prisoner trapped and manipulated within a multiplayer online game in Gamer, set to open on Sept. 4. He provides the voice of the Hairy Hooligan tribe leader Stoick the Vast in an animated version of Cressida Cowell's children's fantasy novel, How to Train Your Dragon. He both produced and stars in Law Abiding Citizen, a revenge thriller co-starring Jamie Foxx. The latter two films will be released in 2010.

Also likely to be released next year is another film, tentatively titled Bounty Hunter. The action film stars Butler as a bounty hunter on the trail of a target all too familiar to him: his ex-wife (Jennifer Aniston).

"I can't believe how much I'm doing," Butler shouts after listening to a rundown of his upcoming titles.

All of which makes one wonder, what does a free day mean to Butler these days?

"A free day means a lot of time in bed," Butler says. "It can mean many things. I love to go to movies. I love to do a bit of travelling. I love to go hiking. Maybe I'll train. There's more . . . I feel like I'm missing some stuff here.

"To be honest, in a situation like I'm in now, where I'm filming a movie, my free days are often just hanging out with friends," he admits. "I sometimes, when I'm not working, have this wish to go and do something crazy. It's like, 'Oh, I'm off today, let's go skydiving or bungee jumping or whitewater rafting.' But my best day off is when I just chill and take it easy."

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Thank you Barb. An excellent interview again.

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It just dawned on me that while some folks out there on er, *ahem* other sites complain that Gerry is picking crappy movies and that his career is floundering....he definitely has a strategy. TUT may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it is a high profile role for him, and will get him more, and better roles down the road.

I love this interview. He is very well spoken here.

Swannie

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Thanks, Barb!

Great interview!

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Thanks, Barb for finding these jewels for us!

I think the article is insightful and totally charming. Gerry is a man who grabs onto life with both fists and just goes for it! I'm thrilled that he is still young enough to fully experience his adventures. There is still time for him to slow down later and savor the things he is missing like a happy home with a family.

Bravo, Gerry!!

Suzie

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Yay! Fabulous interview! Thank you Barb!

I agree with your assessment of what some people think of his film choices, Swannie. I love how different they all are from each other and how each helps him professionally.

~Mel

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Yay! Fabulous interview! Thank you Barb!

I agree with your assessment of what some people think of his film choices, Swannie. I love how different they all are from each other and how each helps him professionally.

~Mel

:funnyup:

What she said!!!!!

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A wonderful read, and very well explained on where his direction lies. I love the fact he takes on different angles and genres of movies. He seems to be able to adjust in almost any role, and it's -unfortunately- something that you don't see these days with a lot of actors. They tend to be the best at one or two different types, but somewhat bland and stagnant in others. However, perhaps that's just my view of the film industry these days. (I'm very picky)

I'm really looking forward to seeing this. My aunt turns out to be a big fan as well, however I'm not sure she'll leave without feeling a bit perverted and go straight to church. Lol. Should be interesting to see. I can't wait until it opens here, I'm going to have a popcorn field day and drag my mother, that reaction should be more amusing than my aunt. :angelnot:

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That is exactly how I'd spend my free days.

In bed, sleeping!

Not that he's sleeping, but I'm sure just laying there not having to get up is nice.

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Thks Barb. Great article. I love to hear him talk about himself.

He is so intelligent and energetic. I love that he is having fun in

what he does and not limiting himself to one type of character.

He is do diverse and able to pull everything off. I love that about

him, as everything else.

Love him absolutely,

Sandy

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It just dawned on me that while some folks out there on er, *ahem* other sites complain that Gerry is picking crappy movies and that his career is floundering....he definitely has a strategy. TUT may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it is a high profile role for him, and will get him more, and better roles down the road.

I love this interview. He is very well spoken here.

Swannie

This is so true. I belonged to a large website for a few years before I joined this one but dropped out of the website a few weeks back because of the forum that seemed more of a Gerry-bashing then anything else (including the crappy movie comment). Here at 'gals' I can share the fun of being part of a fan club that simply enjoys supporting Mr. Butler.

Thank you all.

:wave:

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Thanks for the great interview--Gerry's versatility is one of his best assets -he can go from one role to another and not even look like the same person--he seems to become the character he's playing--and oh doesn't he look good on the red carpet playing himself--

:bump1:

:hearts::butterfly::hugs:

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This is one of the best articles I have read yet,very insightful.A free day means lots of bedtime.Wow.I guess Lolita and a pile of scripts await him huh.I appreciate his versatility so much as an actor and his compassion and brilliance as a human being.Bravo Gerry I will continue to support you forever...Tanya

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Great article! What a fun and insightful read. I cannot wait to see this movie. I'm looking forward to the laughs. :lol:

I'm really looking forward to seeing this. My aunt turns out to be a big fan as well, however I'm not sure she'll leave without feeling a bit perverted and go straight to church. Lol. Should be interesting to see. I can't wait until it opens here, I'm going to have a popcorn field day and drag my mother, that reaction should be more amusing than my aunt. :angelnot:

She may want to think twice, then, about seeing an R-rated romantic comedy. As Gerry said, it lives up to it's rating. :rotflmao:

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