The Men ... Women Are Watching - Part Two
Category: Transcripts | Posted by: admin
Article Date: August 17, 2006 | Publication: Women's Watch on WBZ 1030AM Boston | Author: Carolyn Firestone and Ellen Sherman
Part two of WBZ's exclusive extended interview with Gerard Butler - August 9, 2006
CF: This film version of Beowulf is a bit different than the original poem..right? I mean the character of Beowulf is a little bit different. Tell me what it was like to play this more human, conflicted Beowulf.
GB: Well...it goes back to the question that you asked me earlier about what appeals to me about a particular character and I say that I don't know, until I see it. So I come across this script and one.... it's written with such a kind of bawdy tongue and already the second you enter it you think this is not a typical film script, a typical story, a typical plot...the normal kind of emotions...it didn't seem to go to that kind of formula that you normally get in scripts so..and..and here's a guy who initially you would, you know, see as your typical kind of epic hero except he's not..you know..because he's a little bit full of himself. And then at the same time he's a little bit over himself, and yet at the same time he's a...he's a little bit over his life. And you see on the one hand a kind of bravado and then the other hand a man with...with a lot of sensitivity and a lot of conscience about him. And what was different was ...this is to me like, what it feels like an hero epic...but with everything pulled down and bare and you know there's nothing fancy about it or fleshed out about it.....it is as it would have been with these guys. You know walking about on scarred landscapes and wind blowing them all over the place and you know freezing cold conditions, but they were men and that's how they they lived you know and they talked down and dirty, there was... there was nothing flowery or eloquent about the language although I actually think the script is very eloquent in a completely different kind of way. And it comes across a situation which initially you think.. okay it's about honor it's about loyalty and it's about standing up for your beliefs and then the whole hero epic is kind of turned in on itself and turned upside down because you realize that the troll who he has gone to fight which is this kind of troll-like monster called Grendel and he comes to see in actual fact that he's somebody who isn't too different than himself and that he hasn't been told necessarily the truth. And it causes him to.. one.. become a detective more than a hunter because everything does not go according to plan. He thinks he'll just go there and do his fight like he normally does and win and it doesn't happen like that because the thing that he's chasing turns out to not be so stupid, not to be so ignorant and doesn't actually want to fight...because he doesn't have a qualm with these guys. So.... this causes him to think a little deeper and what he comes to realize is that this thing that they are, that you know they're chasing, they're hunting down is, is in actual fact in a lot of ways not so different than himself and, and has a lot of the same motives that he has..so you feel that even though they're heading towards this inevitable clash that in actual fact there's some kind of bond developing between them and some kind of understanding and respect...and that's what really grabbed me about this story... is that kind of ...ahh... metaphor that allegry for... you know ..racism and intolerance that we have for things that we don't understand which Beowulf himself comes to see. I mean he goes there the same as everybody else. The troll....we don't know it, we don't want to know it, it's stupid, it's ignorant, and it's dangerous and it's dirty and it's you know, the (laughs) kind of things that we've often said about our neighbors or other religions or other countries...people we don't understand...
CF: (laughs) right....
GB: you know....
CF: I do....
GB: And...and.... then in actual fact he realizes..."who am I to say that"..because you know what the film shows geniously is the other side of things where this thing is coming from and what has he actually done wrong. He's just living his life the way he knows best and he could never set out to hurt anybody. You know it's just the way things have been tainted according to their culture...what's going to fit in with them to justify their aggression towards this thing and basically allowing them to make more space for themselves which is what humans have always done against anything that's non-human... and then defend themselves against anything that is not their culture or their country or their, you know. I found it really powerful from that perspective and then in that respect also just seeing nothing but that and everything else just torn away in these primal landscapes. That was another thing that got me into it was when I sat down with Sturla and he showed me some of the photographs that he had from Iceland and where we would be shooting and he played some of the music and I thought...I...I don't care if this film doesn't make a penny....I have to be involved with this, you know... it...it just spoke to me for many reasons that came from deep within that I ...you know...some that I knew and some that I knew I didn't know but I mean often I feel I come from another place and another time and the vikings and the celts are very similar anyway... in fact they kind of bonded together so...I think that was some kind of past collective consciousness that was within me that was kind of coming up and saying "take the sword"! you know! (laughs) Oh my god... my puppy is eating one of my cigarettes. I just got a little puppy.
CF: You did!
GB: I did...a little pug and she's beautiful and she eats everything.
CF: Oh my gosh...they're so cute!
GB: She's....and I tell you...every single person who sees this pug says that it's the most beautiful pug they've ever seen...
CF: Oh..you're kidding...
GB: She's very slim. I think she was the runt but she's also so smart and insane and ...but at the same time she's like a..she's like a little lady.
CF: Oh my gosh.... are you travelling with her too...I mean you bring her all over with you?
GB: Em...well....so far I haven't really traveled so much since I got her. Em...I went to Vegas actually just after I got her and I took her there...em ..so she came gambling with me.
GB: I was flirting with the girls by the swimming pool. Em...
CF: How funny!
GB: But since then (laughs) she's been here. But I'm desperately trying to get her a passport as quickly as possible because I would love to take her to Scotland to meet my family...I can imagine her running around the hills there and...you know.. and in the grass and in the valleys. I have these romantic ideas about..about her.. you know... kind of being in my homeland.
CF: That is so cute. I didn't know that dogs needed passports.
GB: Well they do for the U.K. because the U.K. have ahh... these ahh...quarantine laws.
CF: Oh yeah..that's right...that's true.
GB: Yeah...so they recently changed them. So now you can get away without quarantining your dog but you need to get her a passport so I'm trying to...I'm trying to get that.
CF: Oh...how funny...so what's her name?
CF: Oh my god! (laughs)
GB: Lolita...yeah....she's looking up..she's looking at me. She's chewing her little...she was chewing her little bone there..and she just king of looked up to go..."what ...what do you want"....(says to Lolita)...do you want to say something?
CF: Well...that is so cute.
GB: (to Lolita) you want to say something?
CF: How old is she? How many months?
GB: Em...she's..four....em....she's coming up to five months actually.
CF: Oh my gosh...
GB: I... I got this new place and I did it all up and I was so excited about it and now my carpets are just all stained.
Continued in part three.