Exclusive Fan Site Interview - GERRY ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS
Category: GB.Net Interviews | Posted by: admin
Article Date: June 4, 2004 | Publication: GerardButler.Net | Author: Tamara Halstead
PART ONE - GERRY ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS
In this part of our interview with Gerard, we asked questions we received from fans over the past year. The answers have been condensed for an easier Q&A read, but we will include even more from the interview in Part Two, which will be in the more traditional article style.
QUESTION: After having watched "The Jury" for the umpteenth time this past weekend, I would love to know if that one line he has in the jury room "oh, I'm so glad that Attila the fucking Hun could make it" was scripted or did he ad-lib that?
ANSWER: “I don't think I would have been brave enough to adlib that. I was in the company of some great actors who knew of my recent success so I think if I was to start quoting the characters that I played they would have maybe taken some breaks. No, it was in the script. I found it hilarious that I had to say that. ‘I'm so glad that Attila the fucking Hun is here.' I thought, ‘Here I am, here I am I did take it!'”
“I never asked Pete Morgan who wrote [The Jury script] if he put that in because he knew I played that character and thought it was suitable or if it was already in there. I can't remember if it was in the initial draft cause you know scripts are always rewritten.”
QUESTION: Which one of your projects is your favorite so far and why?
ANSWER: After much contemplation he replies, “I think if I was to take all the work I've ever done, the next two movies to come out are possibly my favorites.”
“My favorite is Dear Frankie cause it's just such a wonderfully beautiful well-crafted little movie and it just gave me the most special experience in Cannes where it went down. “
“But the other one would have to be the Phantom of the Opera.”
“Because I had so much emotional connection with that character and just because of the skill and beauty of the movie and how much I gave it in every way in all the singing training and the movement training and then my heart and soul.“
“But of the movies that have come out, it would be Attila the Hun. That was my big break and I so loved my director Dick Lowry. And filming in Lithuania , I loved the Lithuanian people and the countryside and the vibe that was in that country and I love their spirit and how hard they work for it. That movie was special. And it did very well and scored really highly and I loved my look in that as well,” he says with a bit of a laugh as he remembers “the hair”.
QUESTION: What do you do in your spare time?
ANSWER: “I just sit down and breathe.”
“…I took time off this year you know to go traveling and see some of the world and you know even then I probably over did it. I can barely sit still in a place without saying ‘enough of Buenos Aires let's head down to Patagonia . Enough of Calafate, let's now head over to Mt. Fitz Roy and then enough of this let's go out to the jungle. Ok we'll go to Iguazu Falls .' By the time I came back from that trip I was so fucking tired. I never actually properly took some time off.”
“When we were filming Tomb Raider, Angelina [Jolie] gave me her flying wings from her first flying lesson because she knew I wanted to fly. I was reading a book on it at the time. I'm desperate to take a month off and go to like a flying school in Texas . And learn how to fly. I have all these big plans and never have any time and that's a problem.”
“I would love to learn to play the piano. I'd love to sit down and study a language, but I can barely keep up with my own simple acting career. That's one of the genuine downsides of my success is you don't have a huge amount of spare time and your not often in the same place a lot of time.”
QUESTION: How much do your fans mean to you?
ANSWER: “Well I can't say anything else, but my fans obviously mean a huge amount to me. You know if I said anything else I would not have any more fans,” he says with a laugh.
“But in saying that, my fans mean an awful lot to me and … when I was first told that there was a website in my name I thought it was a joke. I truly did. I thought it was a joke and I didn't know how to use a computer so I ended up in an internet café…asking the guy there to help me find my website.”
“And suddenly I saw all these comments about me and it was both a very weird experience and at the same time really beautiful to think that there were people there who were actually getting what I was doing and liked me.”
“It was lovely, because I think deep down I have a good soul so I really connect with positive energy and I get so much positive energy and love from those sites. I mean just reading and flicking through these questions [for this interview], there were a couple of messages in there and…I have cried reading mail or reading my message boards. It's like they know me.”
“When people ask me to stop smoking ‘You gotta stop smoking' or ‘When are going to settle down?' and I'm like if they knew the struggles I have in my head. I want a wife and I want to quit smoking but I can't do either and I find it amazing [that fans care so much].”
“The unfortunate side effect of film is that you never really get an immediate reaction to what you do you know not like in the theatre so you do something and then you let it go. Then you think there are people watching this…in Peru or in Afghanistan . You don't know who's seeing it so suddenly when you get fan mail from Korea or Hungary then you think ‘Oh my God' and you have messages on your website then you think ‘Oh my God these people really get what I'm doing.' “
“It's a bit of an ego boost as well. That's what it all comes down to. You want to feel loved don't you and having this website and these questions and the support really makes you feel loved and I hope people know that. I hope people know that I do read the messages.”
“I remember the first time I ever went on [a message board], I think it was that first experience [in the internet café], there was like 15, maybe even more than 15 e-mails, or entries, whatever you call them, all arguing about the color of my eyes. Then somebody compared them to Caribbean green seas or something like that and I said, ‘This is getting ridiculous. Is this a joke?”
“So it's been an experience. As you know even my mum was telling me what was going on in the message boards,” he laughs.
“It's lovely and I also love the fact that somebody has said, ‘I hope you know that you have affected our life and a lot of us have become friends through you.' I think that's fantastic that people have started up friendships. I feel strange saying it, it makes me feel very big headed, but I love the message that a lot of people have become friends and I think that's lovely and I feel very happy.”
In finishing the question, “I got a beautiful lamp…,I'm looking at it right now, in fact I'm touching it, from a girl in Korea who sent a few presents, saying, ‘remember your fans in Korea .' It's gorgeous and when it arrived it was broken so I had Tonya [his assistant] fix it. Now it helps to illuminate my living room and it's gorgeous. One fan sent an original volume of Burns poems. I was so touched by that. I have a lot of amazing presents.”
QUESTION: What was the craziest thing a fan of all the ones out there has done just to see, talk or touch you?
ANSWER: “I have a strange story of what a fan did once to try and get a piece of me but she might be tapping into the boards so I don't really want to offend anybody but they [some fans] do do some pretty strange things.”
“I won't answer that one only out of respect. I don't want anybody reading this thinking, ‘Oh that was me.' “
QUESTION: What actors do you admire?
ANSWER: “I hate that question,” he says as he searches his mind for an answer. “I could watch like John Hurt or a Richard Harris or an Ian McKellan or an Ian Holmes till the cows come home, but I also love the modern style of actors like your Pacino and your DiNiro's or Billy Crudrup, who is a contemporary of mine. I think of my contemporaries, my favorite is Sam Rockwell. He's just a genius and I love, love to watch his work. But then again I would say the best actor around today is Gary Oldman. He's one of those [who transforms himself for each role]. And I love that.”
QUESTION: What roles have you auditioned for that you didn't get?
ANSWER: “I've never auditioned for a role that I didn't get,” he jokes with a hearty laugh.
“I don't know. As an actor you meet for so many roles. I've been exceptionally lucky a lot of the big ones that I went up for I got. Attila, Tomb Raider, Timeline. I went for a couple of roles that I didn't get, but that I actually didn't want.”
“You know over the course of the years there have been a couple of films, let me think, I remember my first ever audition for a movie was for “As Good As It Gets” and I literally walked into the room and the casting director says ‘Whoa I'll tell you right now you're not right for this role you're too young,' but I was like ‘it's nice to meet you anyway' because I had literally just signed with my first agent in London, ICM.”
“I do recall actually reading for Aragorn in Lord of the Rings, but that was five years ago and it was before I feel I made my break and before I did the American thing and it was before I had any confidence as an actor.”
“That's the point. When there were all these other actors around me doing very well and I was just starting out, I remember being put on video tape [for Lord of the Rings], which happens when they do the rounds with everybody, and very often they are not even watched because they already know who they want. It'll happen where I will get an offer for something and then I find out they are putting an actor on tape in Toronto or somewhere and I think, and I know I am going to take the part, that I know it's been offered and I think, ‘Why are they doing that?', it's kind of unfair to get people excited. I guess they're just covering their own asses.”
“And I have to say I love [Viggo Mortensen] as [Aragorn]. I thought he was so amazing in that movie.”
QUESTION: As Johnnie Donne, you told Rose that you can learn a little something about a person by what you find in their grocery bag...Gerard, what would you be carrying' in your grocery bag?
ANSWER: “Right now I'd be carrying probably a whole bunch of protein powders, loads of chicken breasts and steaks, and vegetables, because I'm really trying to watch what I'm eating right now because I've got to get into training for my next role, Beowulf and I have to start getting big because I got so skinny and fat. My muscles are all gone and I have a belly. It's time to get back into shape.”
QUESTION: Do you think Andre Marek could kick Terry Sheridan's ass in a fight? Why or why not?
ANSWER: “No. I think Terry Sheridan would rip Andre Marek apart. I felt much tougher as Terry Sheridan than I did as Andre Marek. I felt…as a character [he] had such power and control, which allowed him to do very little because everything was always possible with him and anytime something was going to happen with him, it was going to happen in two seconds and I don't think Andre Marek was like that.”
“I also think that by the time the movie came out, we played Andre Marek differently than he was in the book. He wasn't quite the superhero that the book made him out to be. Not that the book necessarily made him out to be a superhero but definitely a more powerful formidable figure. Once this guy, who was kind of made out like the Rocky scenario, was really up against the odds, including his skill as a warrior, it was like he was kind of kidding himself. There's a big difference between messing around with a sword at present day on your own at five o'clock in the morning and fighting with a sword every day and training with a sword every day when it's your survival at stake back in the medieval period. I think compared to Terry Sheridan, Andre Marek was a pissy.”
“I loved what Terry Sheridan could do and actually he did more during the filming. You just don't see a lot of it. You know there's some great action stuff there that I didn't particularly agree with how they cut the film.”
QUESTION: What is the significance of the ring you where on your right hand? You seem to be wearing it all the time.
ANSWER: “You know, funnily enough, …the reason I met Tonya [his assistant] was though an ex-girlfriend of mine…who I went out with for a couple of years and she got me [the ring] after two weeks of going out, it freaked me out because it's inscripted ‘Dedicated to the one I love.' We were only seeing each other for two weeks and I was like ‘wait a minute, wait a minute, are you saying you love me?' She had one from a previous boyfriend. So it was kind of strange that she had one from a previous boyfriend.”
“I just love the ring. I don't really have any rings so I've always worn it. And actually, funny you should [mention it] because I thought I had lost it for over a year. I thought I had lost it in America and I came home from traveling and Tonya was here saying ‘I found your ring.' I don't know where the hell she found it. It was stuck in some wallet I don't use anymore. I lose shit all over the world. I've lost the best necklaces, the best chains but funnily enough it's the only ring I've ever really worn so I was really upset when I lost it. This is just a few months ago that it turned up again.”
QUESTION: If I were to spend a whole day with you, what would a nice day w/you involve?
ANSWER: “I would love to do Venice in the night. I've only ever been there during the day. But I think it would be incredibly romantic at night. Maybe go for a trip in the gondola.”
“During the day, to go for a walk in some of the beautiful parts of Scotland, where it's shady, where rivers run under the trees, which I just did and I saw the most unbelievably romantic spot and I thought, ‘I could live here.' “
“I went on a date not long ago and I said, ‘Let's not go anywhere, let's just walk.' The thing about London is that there are so many great places to walk. And we had the best time just walking around and talking and laughing and being crazy.”
“I think so often you say let's go to a fucking restaurant and then let's go and have a drink and see a movie. I would much rather do something that was a bit more off beat.”
“Nobody's going to want to go on a date with me after this. Who's going to walk?”
QUESTION: Would you do a film with Peter Jackson?
ANSWER: “I would love to do a film with Peter Jackson, but it would also depend on the script. I wouldn't do a movie with even Martin Scorcese if I don't like the script. “
“I would love to work with Peter Jackson because you know what he's a great crack as well. He just seems like a laugh.”
QUESTION: Can you play any musical instruments?
ANSWER: “I saw that question and I was going to say I was very good with my fiddle, but no, just my voice. That's my instrument.”
QUESTION: In the special features credits of "Timeline," he is listed as being part of the camera team. Was this just for laughs, or was he part of the film crew, and if he was on the crew, would he like to do filming again...or possibly direct down the road?
ANSWER: “Being part of the camera team? I've never….oh, hold on, maybe that happened because we were all given cameras because Dick [Donner} wanted us to do our own behind-the-scenes filming and I got really carried away with it and started like scripts and stories and comedic moments.”
“Like I wanted to do an interview with our production designer as to how he made the castle and I wanted him to have a big blob of plaster and have him stick it
with his thumbs as he described the detail on how he designed the castle, but to finish with a blob still and the camera points down to the blob, and then looks up to the castle, which was amazing.”
“I had all these funny interviews and a lot of them didn't come off but I did a lot of filming and I think some it might have been in the special features. So maybe that's it. I forgot about that.”
QUESTION: What is the color of your eyes?
ANSWER: “That's a good question. It's funny I can't remember the color of them when I was younger, but then in my youth/teens people would say they were blue and then people would say they were green and then honestly it seemed that every season they would either be green…and then blue. And now I just don't fucking know.”
“I thought up until about three months ago that they were kind of blue with no green in them whatsoever, but recently I kept thinking they were green so I'm confused about the color of my eyes.”
“The time I like the most is when they are green. When I wear green they seem more so. And green is my favorite color as well. “
QUESTION: Do you have any superstitions?
ANSWER: “I hate splitting the pole when I'm walking with somebody, unless I don't like them.”
“To be honest my life used to be full of superstitions and it used to drive me insane. Like I couldn't walk down a street and I'd pass a store and I would think if you don't go back and check that store then this will happen or you'll die young, or your whole family would be burned alive. You know crazy shit. You would often find me in a street walking and then taking ten steps back and picking something up. So now I try not to abide by any of them.”
“Another one was when I was playing sports I always had to say a prayer and then take a piss and wash my hands. I never won anything if I didn't wash my hands after taking a piss. And I always had to take a piss even if I didn't need one.”
“I've managed to banish most of them from my life and now my general superstition is if you are a wanker on set you will pay for it somewhere down the line.”
QUESTION: Was that your own singing voice in "The Young Person's Guide To Becoming A Rockstar?
ANSWER: “No. In fact I spent about, oh my God, three weeks listening to that guy singing to try and get it perfect with my lip synching. The whole joke was that Marti Pellow, who sang with Wet, Wet, Wet and was also engaged to my cousin for about 10 years, is known for making the most of every note that's available and loving the sound of his own voice and it's a valid thing because actually he has a fantastic voice and he's also a great guy. But that's been a standing joke, especially among Scottish because Scottish people always love to give their own a hard time just because you are successful than people would like laugh at you.”
“So they got this guy, who just hammed up every note, every syllable, and I had to try and listen to all this. I loved doing that and loved filming that scene."
“In Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married, when I had to sing that Roberta Flack song, The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face , I had to sing in that, that was me. And it is me singing in the Phantom, I promise you.”
QUESTION: What cologne do you wear?
ANSWER: “Funny you should say that. I was at a party and I was given this Burberry cologne, at least I thought it was cologne and somebody pointed out that it was a perfume. So that's how good I am with cologne, but even after figuring out it was a perfume, I still wear it, and everyone is always commenting on how good it smells and then all the guys try to kiss me.”
“I use that and Jo Malone, which is probably my all time favorite. It's something and ginger. Wait a minute, I am going to the bathroom right now where I have bottles and bottles of it and I'll tell you.”
“Nutmeg and Ginger. That's it! And I have a little bottle of Abercrombie and Fitch, which is also fantastic. My favorite without a doubt is Jo Malone.”
QUESTION: What type of books do you like to read?
ANSWER: “Oh God. Let me just answer with the last book I read. I'm reading a book on speed reading right now because I'm such a slow reader and I really have to get better because every time I get a script it takes me a long time to read.”
“The last book I read was For Whom The Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway. To be honest, I have so many scripts, that I end up reading a lot for work that I don't get to do it for enjoyment and I'm always amazed at other actors who say they just read this book and I'm like ‘What? Don't you fucking work?”
QUESTION: Most exciting place you've ever visited?
ANSWER: “Most exciting place I've ever visited. Where have I been? I think Rome. Going into Rome I've never been so excited to arrive into a place and I was surprised at that because it takes a lot to get me really excited and I remembered those feelings that you have when you're a kid, that pure innocent excitement.”
“When I went into Rome I was so excited knowing that I was entering this city, this one city, that effected our planet so much, and civilization so much and also having played Attila and having studied it so much at school and suddenly I was driving there and fantasizing about two, three thousand years ago, or two thousand years ago about those times. I think I really am Andre Marek,” he says with a hearty laugh.
TO BE CONTINUED...