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1/11 - Bard boy comes good


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JUST how macho is Gerard Butler?

Well, there's the Butler of 300, all muscle and rage, and the swaggering Butler of Law Abiding Citizen and Machine Gun Preacher. Even in his rom-coms he bleeds testosterone. Anyone would think the man was raised by wolves rather than brought up respectably in Paisley.

Yet here he is, the actor who makes King Kong look like Kermit, bouncing up and down on a chair like Tigger. What has got the man so tickled? To be revealed.

First, Butler wants to talk about Coriolanus, his new movie and the directorial debut of Ralph Fiennes. Playing the warrior Tullus Aufidius alongside Fiennes and Vanessa Redgrave, this is the lesser known, more thespian, side of Butler on display. (Earlier in his career he was also in The Cherry Orchard.)

The film brings Butler full circle. A London stage production of Shakespeare's tale of power and politics was the Scot's first gig after leaving Glasgow and a law career. A lot of rom-coms, action movies, indie dramas (Dear Frankie) and even a musical (Phantom of the Opera) have passed between the two jobs.

"It almost seems like another lifetime, like it wasn't me," the 42-year-old says of those early days. "I had moved down to London with no real reason, or not really deserving of getting into this business having not gone through drama school. Definitely it was a lucky break for me."

He said yes to Fiennes for a mixture of reasons, among them that it was one of the RSC's finest doing the asking.

"Whether I had done it or not I would have taken a hold of that compliment and run with it for a while. 'Ralph wants to work with you in a Shakespeare movie'. Incredible for me. Then I got the script and thought if Shakespeare could ever be a film this is it. It had it all, from political intrigue to intimate domestic moments, from rivalry to action sequences, all the complexities of every kind of relationship."

If the first Coriolanus turned him from a wannabe actor to a contender, one senses he's hoping this second production will work another transformation in how he is seen. When I ask if he regards Coriolanus as a chance to show his acting chops, he says: "I'd probably be lying if I said no, I don't care about that."

Here's the thing about Butler. His films generate serious financial heat – Law Abiding Citizen grossed £81 million worldwide, The Bounty Hunter, £87m – yet the critical reaction towards him can be icy. Especially when he makes a rom-com. "Here is a film with no need to exist," was one of the kinder things said of The Bounty Hunter.

Does that bother him? "It's a bit of a shame because, having done both, it can often be way easier to make a kitchen sink drama, way easier to get away with that and just sit on the tragedy. It can often require a lot less talent than to pull off a comedy that also has to have those [emotions]. Some of the movies I look at now that get good reviews, I've never been so bored in my life."

While he hopes Coriolanus might make some look at him differently, he doesn't want to distance himself from his past films. "The fact is, one of the reasons they can ask me to do a film like this is because you make your name cutting your teeth in all sorts of movies. There was incredible value for me in making The Ugly Truth or PS I Love You." Ultimately, he says, people will see you as they wish. "I can't get too caught up in that."

On to happier matters than rom-com reviews. Matters such as the Celtic Legends versus Manchester United Legends, the charity match played in Glasgow last summer to raise money for Oxfam's East Africa famine appeal. To say Butler looked pleased to be sharing a pitch with the likes of Henrik Larsson and Neil Lennon would be like saying the sun can be a tad warm.

Enjoy it much? The bouncing on the chair starts here. "Totally," he says with a lug-to-lug grin. He looks across at the Coriolanus poster and remembers he's supposed to be puffing the film rather than talking fitba. "So funny," he laughs. "You can take the boy out of Glasgow ..."

He flew in from Los Angeles for the match and straight back again. "It was probably the highlight of my career. Back home at Christmas, talking about it with my mum, even she said that. She's been to Hollywood premieres with me and she said it doesn't get better than that moment. 'Just to see you walk on at Parkhead.' My stepfather is a Rangers fan so it's been an infinite source of entertainment for him to have to deal with that."

When he's about to meet his maker he'd name the Legends game as one of the top three experiences in his life. So, if he had to choose between winning an Oscar, or scoring the winning goal against Rangers? "Scoring a winning goal against Rangers!"

He nearly did meet his maker before Christmas. While filming his new movie, the surfing tale Of Men and Mavericks, he was pulled under by a series of giant waves. At one point, exhausted and battered, he thought he wasn't going to make it.

"It's a very scary place. Surfers always tell you how lonely it feels when you are under that water, deep, dark. You think all I can do is not panic. If I panic I know I'm dead."

Panic was the least of it when news reached his fans. As a look at their internet sites shows, Butler enjoys a level of attention that goes beyond devotion.

"It's incredible to know you have people who care about you and are passionate about you. It's a lovely place to be, to have that other family, they want to know who's he dating, is he all right, it's nice to know they're there." (He is dating "a little bit" but won't say any more.)

The fans, he says, have even been a stabilising force on him. That, and growing older. "I lived a lot of my life where I would get into a lot of trouble when I was younger and would think, well, it's just me. You would justify your stupidity by saying, I'm only hurting myself. Then you realise no, maybe you are hurting a few more people if you get too irresponsible."

Ah, the younger, wilder, less responsible Mr Butler, the one who gave up the law to become an actor. Has there ever been a moment when he regretted divorcing himself from such a safe job?

"In 14 years of acting I don't think that thought has ever once crossed my mind. Even when I was under that wave," he laughs. "I say that jokingly, but I had my moment, I have no regrets about doing that." Scottish law is better off without him being involved, he says. "And I'm way better off doing what I'm doing."

Or as the dude from Stratford would put it, to thine own self be true.

Coriolanus is in cinemas from January 20.

Yet here he is, the actor who makes King Kong look like Kermit, bouncing up and down on a chair like Tigger. What has got the man so tickled? To be revealed.

First, Butler wants to talk about Coriolanus, his new movie and the directorial debut of Ralph Fiennes. Playing the warrior Tullus Aufidius alongside Fiennes and Vanessa Redgrave, this is the lesser known, more thespian, side of Butler on display. (Earlier in his career he was also in The Cherry Orchard.)

The film brings Butler full circle. A London stage production of Shakespeare's tale of power and politics was the Scot's first gig after leaving Glasgow and a law career. A lot of rom-coms, action movies, indie dramas (Dear Frankie) and even a musical (Phantom of the Opera) have passed between the two jobs.

"It almost seems like another lifetime, like it wasn't me," the 42-year-old says of those early days. "I had moved down to London with no real reason, or not really deserving of getting into this business having not gone through drama school. Definitely it was a lucky break for me."

He said yes to Fiennes for a mixture of reasons, among them that it was one of the RSC's finest doing the asking.

"Whether I had done it or not I would have taken a hold of that compliment and run with it for a while. 'Ralph wants to work with you in a Shakespeare movie'. Incredible for me. Then I got the script and thought if Shakespeare could ever be a film this is it. It had it all, from political intrigue to intimate domestic moments, from rivalry to action sequences, all the complexities of every kind of relationship."

If the first Coriolanus turned him from a wannabe actor to a contender, one senses he's hoping this second production will work another transformation in how he is seen. When I ask if he regards Coriolanus as a chance to show his acting chops, he says: "I'd probably be lying if I said no, I don't care about that."

Here's the thing about Butler. His films generate serious financial heat – Law Abiding Citizen grossed £81 million worldwide, The Bounty Hunter, £87m – yet the critical reaction towards him can be icy. Especially when he makes a rom-com. "Here is a film with no need to exist," was one of the kinder things said of The Bounty Hunter.

Does that bother him? "It's a bit of a shame because, having done both, it can often be way easier to make a kitchen sink drama, way easier to get away with that and just sit on the tragedy. It can often require a lot less talent than to pull off a comedy that also has to have those [emotions]. Some of the movies I look at now that get good reviews, I've never been so bored in my life."

While he hopes Coriolanus might make some look at him differently, he doesn't want to distance himself from his past films. "The fact is, one of the reasons they can ask me to do a film like this is because you make your name cutting your teeth in all sorts of movies. There was incredible value for me in making The Ugly Truth or PS I Love You." Ultimately, he says, people will see you as they wish. "I can't get too caught up in that."

On to happier matters than rom-com reviews. Matters such as the Celtic Legends versus Manchester United Legends, the charity match played in Glasgow last summer to raise money for Oxfam's East Africa famine appeal. To say Butler looked pleased to be sharing a pitch with the likes of Henrik Larsson and Neil Lennon would be like saying the sun can be a tad warm.

Enjoy it much? The bouncing on the chair starts here. "Totally," he says with a lug-to-lug grin. He looks across at the Coriolanus poster and remembers he's supposed to be puffing the film rather than talking fitba. "So funny," he laughs. "You can take the boy out of Glasgow ..."

He flew in from Los Angeles for the match and straight back again. "It was probably the highlight of my career. Back home at Christmas, talking about it with my mum, even she said that. She's been to Hollywood premieres with me and she said it doesn't get better than that moment. 'Just to see you walk on at Parkhead.' My stepfather is a Rangers fan so it's been an infinite source of entertainment for him to have to deal with that."

When he's about to meet his maker he'd name the Legends game as one of the top three experiences in his life. So, if he had to choose between winning an Oscar, or scoring the winning goal against Rangers? "Scoring a winning goal against Rangers!"

He nearly did meet his maker before Christmas. While filming his new movie, the surfing tale Of Men and Mavericks, he was pulled under by a series of giant waves. At one point, exhausted and battered, he thought he wasn't going to make it.

"It's a very scary place. Surfers always tell you how lonely it feels when you are under that water, deep, dark. You think all I can do is not panic. If I panic I know I'm dead."

Panic was the least of it when news reached his fans. As a look at their internet sites shows, Butler enjoys a level of attention that goes beyond devotion.

"It's incredible to know you have people who care about you and are passionate about you. It's a lovely place to be, to have that other family, they want to know who's he dating, is he all right, it's nice to know they're there." (He is dating "a little bit" but won't say any more.)

The fans, he says, have even been a stabilising force on him. That, and growing older. "I lived a lot of my life where I would get into a lot of trouble when I was younger and would think, well, it's just me. You would justify your stupidity by saying, I'm only hurting myself. Then you realise no, maybe you are hurting a few more people if you get too irresponsible."

Ah, the younger, wilder, less responsible Mr Butler, the one who gave up the law to become an actor. Has there ever been a moment when he regretted divorcing himself from such a safe job?

"In 14 years of acting I don't think that thought has ever once crossed my mind. Even when I was under that wave," he laughs. "I say that jokingly, but I had my moment, I have no regrets about doing that." Scottish law is better off without him being involved, he says. "And I'm way better off doing what I'm doing."

Or as the dude from Stratford would put it, to thine own self be true.

Coriolanus is in cinemas from January 20.

Source: Herald Scotland

Published: Thursday 12 January 2012

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Wonderful Article! Thanks Barb!

Panic was the least of it when news reached his fans. As a look at their internet sites shows, Butler enjoys a level of attention that goes beyond devotion.

"It's incredible to know you have people who care about you and are passionate about you. It's a lovely place to be, to have that other family, they want to know who's he dating, is he all right, it's nice to know they're there." (He is dating "a little bit" but won't say any more.)

The fans, he says, have even been a stabilising force on him. That, and growing older. "I lived a lot of my life where I would get into a lot of trouble when I was younger and would think, well, it's just me. You would justify your stupidity by saying, I'm only hurting myself. Then you realise no, maybe you are hurting a few more people if you get too irresponsible."

Ahh so sweet!

Cheryl

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What a fantastic interview. Thank you Barb!

I was heartened to read the bit "He is dating "a little bit" but won't say any more". Let's hope this year is the year he finds 'the special one'!

It was also nice to hear the comments about his fans. I worry sometime when I see clips of people screaming his name at premieres etc, or hassling him too much that he will get fed up with it, so it's good to hear he does still care about those of us who have come to love and care about him.

It's also good to know that he now realises that lots of people would be hurt if he started getting too reckless!

x

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Yet here he is, the actor who makes King Kong look like Kermit, bouncing up and down on a chair like Tigger. What has got the man so tickled? To be revealed.

:detect: They forgot to "reveal" why he is so tickled...but yes; great article..for once she did him justice and no slagging of his role Phantom of the Opera; which is still my favourite movie.Thanks

Posted Image Here's my Tiger image of Gerry..

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Yet here he is, the actor who makes King Kong look like Kermit, bouncing up and down on a chair like Tigger. What has got the man so tickled? To be revealed.

:detect: They forgot to "reveal" why he is so tickled...but yes; great article..for once she did him justice and no slagging of his role Phantom of the Opera; which is still my favourite movie.Thanks

Posted Image Here's my Tiger image of Gerry..

sue grint - gbutts greatest london fan - to say the least, when i heard about gbutts accident i felt sick to my stomach, and all i could do was scroll down the article as quickly as possible to make sure he survived and hadnt died. after meeting him at coriolanus prescreening the other evening, thats the fifth time ive met him, and he is so lovely and appreciative to his fans. although the other evening he had to be quick with the fans as he was due on the graham norton show that evening, he usually spends a lot of time, talking, cuddling, kissing and joking with everyone. you can see what hes like if you watch grahams show, hes very bubbly and full of energy and so down to earth. i think a lot of it is the fact that he has come from very humble family life with no wealth or riches and has worked extremely hard for where he is now, and gives to so many people.

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Wow.....it's interviews like this that makes me excited for my film! I cant wait for film to be done and ready to send to Gerry! He deserves to see his fans in their true light. I know he is a busy man and cant get to know his fans on a certain level. I cant wait for him to truly meet and get to know his fans for who they are as people. Gerry truly has the most loving fans in the world!

- Megan

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Yes; while the preview was exciting; the interview was a bit too revealing for my taste...Gerry...as Dr. Phil would say.."What were you thinking?":phantom2: leaving your Phantom fans with an image of you sitting on the throne was not the "souvenir" I want to be saddled with.

While some actors raise them selves to be "above" even having to do such mundane chores...ahem; you go bravely where NO man has been before; to expose yet another of your all too human sides to the adoring fans. Mom must be saying to herself...:donjuan: "Son; some things are best left unsaid..." While I love your candor...think before you share..some things are even too intimate to hear...even for those adoring fans who want to know EVERYTHING about you...Love you still..but that image is branded in my mind now every time I view "Phantom of the Opera"...perish the thougts...They say; if you want to relieve your jitters when giving a speach...just imagine those people on the throne...Sorry..I just can't do it...Lol

Edited by may
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I have to disagree, May, I think it endears us to him even more for him to be so "human."

We all realize that he is only human, and it makes him much more perfect to admit to

only being human.

His story about the accident made me want to hold him and pamper him and tell him

how precious he is to me and so many others. Again, only human with real human

fears and frailties. I wanted to cry when he said he was terrified, because I know

exactly how that feels, underwater being pulled every which way and tumbled over and

over, not knowing up from down. It is indeed terrifying and so helpless. I wanted to

hide him from all harm and keep him safe forever, but again, we cannot. He has to live

his own life and take his own risks, as we all have and do everyday. The fact that we

all love him can comfort him and make him think a little more about how many would

grieve if anything bad should happen to him, but he still has to live his own life. We all

have and do with no concern for him, that he would be without a fan if anything should

happen to us.

Any way, I'm glad to see that old familiar smile back and to hear him say he is ok now.

Love him absolutely and forever,

Sandy

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Hi all,

What a wonderful article with great insight into Gerry Butler. The soft, so nice, loving human being that touches each of us so sweetly With his feelings about his caring, ever faithful fans.

One of the first movies I saw after Phantom of the Opera was THE CHERRY ORCHARD...he was just so outstanding with his part. Memorable and exciting. Just saw his Phantom of the Opera twice within the last month...My hubby George and I NEVER GET TIRED of seeing him and hearing him sing the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber. He will forever be the lonely, sad but talented Phantom of the Opera.

Infact we enjoy each and every movie he has ever made. I believe so far we have seen them all and given them to relatives and friends as gifts. Many favorites, DEAR FRANKIE just so loving a character, ONE MORE KISS soooo sensitive a man, THE UGLY TRUTH, just darling and so much fun and if you have missed this one, either buy or rent THE JURY

outstanding drama and mystery...You will feel like you are one of the jurors. Attila, Dracula 2000...well not to ever forget "300."

Gerry B. has always been a really GREAT actor from the beginning. His is a natural and each movie is a wonderful experience. He he he,

Can you tell that my hubby and I are dedicated fans. Can hardly wait until we see CORIOLANUS and MACHINE GUN PREACHER. I think we have just about all the movies he has ever made..Each very well done and YES, he is a natural and will be appreciated for many, many years to come.

Happy New Year to each of you wonderful fans of sweet Gerry B.

hugs, :kiss: Donna Jean and George and our clan

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Yet here he is, the actor who makes King Kong look like Kermit, bouncing up and down on a chair like Tigger. What has got the man so tickled? To be revealed.

:detect: They forgot to "reveal" why he is so tickled...but yes; great article..for once she did him justice and no slagging of his role Phantom of the Opera; which is still my favourite movie.Thanks

Posted Image Here's my Tiger image of Gerry..

Here is the part of the article that "revealed" why he was so tiickled:

On to happier matters than rom-com reviews. Matters such as the Celtic Legends versus Manchester United Legends, the charity match played in Glasgow last summer to raise money for Oxfam's East Africa famine appeal. To say Butler looked pleased to be sharing a pitch with the likes of Henrik Larsson and Neil Lennon would be like saying the sun can be a tad warm.

Enjoy it much? The bouncing on the chair starts here. "Totally," he says with a lug-to-lug grin. He looks across at the Coriolanus poster and remembers he's supposed to be puffing the film rather than talking fitba. "So funny," he laughs. "You can take the boy out of Glasgow ..."

He flew in from Los Angeles for the match and straight back again. "It was probably the highlight of my career. Back home at Christmas, talking about it with my mum, even she said that. She's been to Hollywood premieres with me and she said it doesn't get better than that moment. 'Just to see you walk on at Parkhead.' My stepfather is a Rangers fan so it's been an infinite source of entertainment for him to have to deal with that."

When he's about to meet his maker he'd name the Legends game as one of the top three experiences in his life. So, if he had to choose between winning an Oscar, or scoring the winning goal against Rangers? "Scoring a winning goal against Rangers!"

MORNINGSTAR

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Cutting your yeeth in all sorts of films, Gerry! I'll surport you! Posted Image Even if you pick up that part who tries to make sex with a camel! (What a pity that movie wasn't staged!)Posted Image

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