From action hero to sensitive soul, Gerard Butller tells Movies.ie The Ugly Truth
Action hero one moment, sensitive rom-com lead the next, Gerard Butler’s ability to jump from muscle man to sensitive soul has made him one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars. Here, Butler chats about his latest venture into the world of the rom-com in “The Ugly Truth”, working with Kathy Heigl and his work on 300.
Q: You had big roles in ‘Phantom of the Opera’ and ‘Dracula’ but it was ‘300′ that really made your name in Hollywood. What was it like to finally make that breakthrough?
GB: “Well, it certainly wasn’t just another day in the office but initially it wasn’t this massive sense of achievement. It was very hard to come to terms with because ‘300′ didn’t just do well. It was a phenomenon in a way. I didn’t know how to deal with that. It was only a few months later when things started to settle in and I got used to how it effected my life that I managed to get something positive from it.”
Q: Do you still do the ‘300′ workout now?
GB: “(Laughs) No, I could never keep that up.”
Q: You’ve become known as quite a macho man through your movies.
GB: “I don’t think I am. I think if you watch thinks like Nim’s Island you see that I’m actually exceptionally geeky. I try and play roles that are vulnerable, lost or crazy. It’s just maybe the macho ones I’ve played have been more memorable movies.”
Q: So you wouldn’t describe yourself as macho then?
GB: “No. I think there’s many different sides to me. I try to embrace all of them. There is a macho element to me, but I also have my feminine side and my vulnerable side. I’m just like everybody. I’m not just one thing.”
Q: You seem to strip off a lot in your movies. Is that because you like to show off those muscles?
GB: “(Laughs) Trust me if I could leave my clothes on in a movie I’d rather do that any time. But if I’m going to get undressed I’m going to do it as well as I can. Whenever I hear people say that’s sexy for the few people that say that I think are you insane!”
Q: Tell us about your character in new movie ‘The Ugly Truth’?
GB: “He’s the kind of person that guys would love and women would hate. So he’s running this whole show about relationships, men, women, sex and what men should do to get more sex to get the kind of relationship they want. And he think he knows what women have to do also.”
Q: So what is your trick to being a hit with the ladies?
GB: “I, in my limited life experience, have found that so often the best situations come out of nothing rather than having to dress the whole thing up. You’re not really trusting what goes on between two people. Some people might say, ‘We’d go on a helicopter ride here and stop at a fancy restaurant.’ This is why I’m single. There’s a scene in So I Married An Axe Murderer, when Mike Myers is out with this girl, and they’re just walking around. They’re making use of the things they come across – statues, park benches – and they’re dancing about. To me, I have had the best times when I’m just walking about somewhere, whether it be the streets of Paris or New York. I live in New York now, if I were to go on a date, to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and see things and make fun of things and come across the strange things that you come across that, to be honest, you don’t find when you’re sitting in a restaurant or something. That would be great for me. But like I say, that’s why I’m still single.”
Q: How was working with Katherine Heigl?
GB: “She’s incredible. She has so many great ideas. I’ve learned a lot from Katie especially about comedy. I understand now about keeping it real but at the same time getting as much out of it as you can. She’s a joy to work with and we have great chemistry together.
Q: What was the biggest challenge in making a movie like ‘The Ugly Truth’?
GB: “Probably just the dialogue. I have never had even a tenth of the dialogue I have to say in this movie. I never shut up! I have opinions about everything. I have a smart line for every situation. There were days where I had pages and pages of lines, and it’s quick-fire delivery, so it was an interesting experience for me.”
Q: Do you miss Scotland now you are based in the States so much of the time?
GB: “I do. I miss two things mainly; The people and the countryside. It’s such a beautiful country. It’s therapy when I go back there. Everything relaxes me – the people and the humour – when I’m there. I was with a friend from Scotland in New York and my sides were splitting. Just the way he was saying things I thought I was going to literally p*** myself listening to him. I miss that about Scotland; the sense of humour and sharpness that you share with your buddies.”
Q: What is your all-time favourite movie?
GB: “Apocalypse Now. But even films that I love and blow me away, for some reasons, I don’t ever watch them again. That’s a weirdness I have. But Apocalypse Now is the exception. I think I’ve seen that about 17 times. I can just put it on and watch it. It’s visual. It’s stimulating. It makes me think. There are certain things you can’t explain. I love that film.”