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Swansong

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http://www.signatureladirect.com/

Perfect Storm

By Andrew Harmon

It's a warm Monday morning in the Roosevelt Hotel's grand lobby, where European tourists lounge in leather couches with their, "official" star maps, where indie instrumental music plays low-volume on the speakers, and where Gerard Butler, Hollywood's most omnipresent leading man over the past summer, is on his hands and knees.

It's not what you think. Butler is admiring the lobby's terra cotta tile floor, shined to a preternatural gloss. "Oh man, this is what I have in my place!" he says, referring to his Chelsea apartment (he also has a house in Los Feliz). Butler is exuberant in the discovery in an almost adolescent way. The tourists gawk at the 39-year-old Scotsman, who, like many European tourists flocking to Los Angeles in the sweltering fall heat, is dressed in a sporty mix of respectable leisure: Abercrombie & Fitch running shorts with a pique polo shirt in charcoal. If they recognize him, they're not copping to it, taking digital pictures of the ornate ceiling instead.

Which seems just fine for paparazzi-favorite Butler, who settles into a club chair and sips a latte. He's only recently returned to Los Angeles for some much-needed R&R. It's been a perfect storm of film projects this year, from shooting romance flicks with Katherine Heigl and Jennifer Aniston to co-producing his first film, Law Abiding Citizen, where he takes a dramatic turn by starring as a calculating sociopath. If you can recall Butler's physique while playing King Leonidas in 300 a few years back, you'd expect he's not spending his time off glued to an Xbox. Earlier, he rode up Griffith Park on his mountain bike. He's into racquetball, hits the weights regularly, and did he tell you about his surfing lesson last week?

"I don't surf, but I was taking a lesson," Butler says, again with the adolescent excitement, which is refreshing more than cloying. "And I got up the first three times and took the wave in." "I don't believe you," I blurt out. Nobody gets up the first time. Immediately I wonder whether this celebrity interview is about to go south.

"On my life!" he replies with a hearty laugh (thank god). "Though I'm sure it was beginner's luck." The diversity of Butler's recent projects, is, like his workout habits, no accident. The co-star of The Ugly Truth and P.S. I Love You seems steadfast in avoiding the romantic comedy trap, where actors begin as virile, potent onscreen idols, only to become veritable eunuchs after following the guy-gets-girl, loses-girl, then-reunites-with-girl-in-slow-motion-final-scene-with-Kelly-Clarkson-hit-song formula one too many times. "It's been tough with all of these movies coming out in such quick succession, but people do get to see me in different roles - here's a romantic comedy, there's a fantasy action film, and here's a dark thriller,"Butler says. "And it's when I'm challenged that I do my best work."

In Law Abiding Citizen (in theatres October 16), Butler plays Clyde Shelton, an otherwise-innocuous Philadelphian whose wife and daughter are murdered in the course of a home robbery. The suspects are apprehended and convicted, though one receives a light sentence at the hands of Nick Rice (Jamie Foxx), a young assistant district attorney. Clyde goes berserk and exacts revenge, as you probably already assumed - and then goes even further (no spoiler alert here), evolving into a morally ambiguous character. Do we sympathize? Roundly denounce? Withhold judgment?

Screening audiences are consistently torn, Butler says. "It was incredible. I was surprised by how the audience gets on Clyde's side. I think that we all have this sense of injustice and frustration, whether on a personal level, a community level or a national level. Where we feel like our balls have been cut off and there's nothing we can do. One reason why 300 was so successful is that you saw your heroes kick arse - but not always in the nicest way."

Two years ago, when Butler began work on Law Abiding Citizen, which he also co-produced, he was originally cast in the role of prosecutor, not criminal. But as he was fighting to round out his character, Butler found himself more attracted to the villain of the script - a terrifying challenge, he says (and one not immediately embraced by his management).

"Comparisons are made the second you take on the role of a psychotic aggressor. To Anthony Hopkins [silence of the Lambs], to Kevin Spacey [se7en]. I didn't know if I would fall flat on my face," Butler says.

But he had top-notch colleagues to work with in the film. In addition to the Academy Award-winning Foxx,Viola Davis-who received an Oscar nod this year for best supporting actress in Doubt and is one of the few thespians working today who can go toe-to-toe with Meryl Streep in a heated scene - plays the Philadelphia mayor. The real mayor, Michael Nutter, also has a cameo role. "That was one of the most exciting parts of making this movie, the day we knew we had Viola," Butler says. "She's a sweet, sweet woman, but her character can be terrifying. Then at the end of the day she'll go back to sweet. ‘Thanks for the cup of tea', she'd say."

Shall we expect a Psycho-esque franchise from Butler? Judging by his next two projects, no. He lends his Scottish accent to Dreamworks' upcoming animated film How to Train Your Dragon, due out in March. Butler also co-stars with Jennifer Aniston in The Bounty, which the two filmed earlier this year - or tried to film, when rogue paparazzi weren't getting into the way (rumors abounded that the two were an item). "It was frenetic, for sure," he says. "A lot of [paparazzi] are really lovely and considerate, but some of them seem to make a point of harassing you on-set. They're just waiting for that one moment when your smile becomes a grimace." He laughs, then adds, "Or when you've got a finger up your nose."

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Edited by Swansong

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And just when we think it can't get any better...... Thanks, Swannie!

Judy

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:yummy::drool1: gorgeous pictures. Thanks Swannie. I have never heard of this magazine...is it a US mag?

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As Holly would say, looking at these photos hurrrrrrts.

*heavy sigh*

Swannie

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And just when we think it can't get any better...... Thanks, Swannie!

Judy

I think what Judy wrote says it all! These are some of the most beautiful photos I've ever seen of Gerry. The hair, the physical shape, the trimmed stubble, the whole look, this is a definite GAL down moment. :-) Thanks for posting Swannie!

Theresa

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OMG....and just when you thought it couldn't get any better....IT DID!!!!!!

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Oi! Swannie! That's a chicKen sprainer for sure!

He SO knows! :lol:

Thanks for the link and goodies!

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Signature is clearly an LA/California based magazine. It reminds somewhat of Venice Magazine another California based magazine that always had stunning photography and cool interviews.

From the website there is nothing indicating you can buy a single issue. Venice Magazine did sell individual issues - I had bought one with Gary Oldman on the cover many years ago. So it might be worth an email - I have also have publications send me a copy even if it isn't their policy and once I asked and they sent it for free! Never hurts to email. I would imagine it is not that available outside of California beyond those magazine outlets that like to try and cover everything or one of those kinds of stores might order you a copy.

Those photos are brilliant as well as the styling - methinks I recognize those jeans - very similar or the same as those party jeans. Whoever makes them needs to send him several pair, in my humble opinion.

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Guest Kyriem

As Holly would say, looking at these photos hurrrrrrts.

Swannie

Yes, a look at those pics really hurts... :wuv:

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Holy Moly! :drool1: Those pictures make my ovaries hurt! This is the best batch I've seen in a while.

First kilt pictures and now these.....no man should be that good looking. :wuv:

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Great interview! I sat here smiling the whole time. Can you imagine watching Gerry trying to surf? Cowabunga for sure! I love hearing about him enjoying himself ...

The pictures are to die for! Thank you so much, Swannie. Great find!

This is my favorite: http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y78/bonni...ignature4-1.jpg

Lisa

Edited by phoenixgirl

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Like I said as my statement under my sig......There are no words! These pictures are stunning!

Thanks Swannie, Frannie

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ooh ladyfran I love that quote, really does suit! and those the pictures :pant: I love the whole banner. You chicks whip up some beautiful banners faster than the speed of light!!

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This article ranks in the top 3 of my favorite Gerry articles. Very well written. I loved the surfing story; it evokes such a great image! And when I clicked the link for the article and that picture of Gerry staring at me so intently popped up, I involuntarily let loose a string of incoherent syllables! This man has been leaving me both speechless and breathless a lot lately! And light-headed! And giddy! Oh my...

Steph

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OMG! :thud:That's just wrong! A law I tell ya a LAW! *sigh* He's just too much for my eyes to take in at once.

Cassie

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Guest

Thank you! :)

That cover is stunning! The last one with folded hands is very endearing xoxo

The article was fun because I never thought of him as a surfer but goes to show how he likes to try new things and not sit around on the couch like most men :kisswink:

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Well you know what they say:

When in Rome, do as the Romans do,

When in California do as the Californians do

Surf baby surf.

Too cold to do it in Scotland though I'll bet there are some crazies who do.

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I liked the idea of him getting on his hands & knees at the Roosevelt Hotel to look at the tile! That was a great image!

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