Interview: PSILY (Blog)
Category: Misc./General Career News | Posted by: DaisyMay
Article Date: May 7, 2008 | Publication: Buzzline Online | Author: Emmanuel Itier
Publication/Article Link:Buzzine Online
Thanks to mjbooklady for this interview
Emmanuel Itier: Is it hard to play a dead guy?
Gerard Butler: No, not really. I donít think heís aware of that. I just am who I am. When I was playing the part of him, that is still in memory that it was still history, so I wasnít playing it any differently. Even the parts that exist in her mind, again, for me itís as if Iím really there, so I donít think it made my performance that much more difficult. Iíd love to say it did and it was really testing, but no.
EI: You were so sexy and masculine in this roleÖ
GB: Thank you! I had such a connection with Richard [LaGraveneseĖwriter/director] from the second I met him. It was a really great meeting, and he said two minutes into the meeting, "I want you to play this role." We barely started talking, and by the time I walked out of the meeting, irrespective of the film, I knew I had met a guy I was going to become very good friends with. To date, it was probably the most special experience I had with a director, just in terms of how much I enjoyed it, how closely I worked with him, and how fun and creative it was. And for me, just getting the chance to do some comedy, even though the movie has some heavy sentimentsÖbut for me, there was a lot of lightness to it. I just really connected with Richard. In fact, right now weíre working on two, maybe three projects together. We stayed really good friends. I donít mean just projects, I mean weíre heavily into these projects. Iíve formed a very strong bond with him, and itís true--he brings up ideas, thoughts or issues. I am so like him. It is a lot of synchronicity as well. I think, "Richard"--he callsÖand vice versa. I feel very close. This role, Gerry, is very much based on Ted Demme, who was his best friend before he died, so I know how special this role was.
EI: Since you are the guy you playĖaccording to Richard [director]--all the jewelry and sentimental jackets, did he take that from you, or did he make that up?
GB: Thatís my stuff. Iím not wearing it right now. In fact, I havenít worn it for a little while. The jewelry Iíve been wearing for years, actually. I wanted to give a little flamboyance to Gerry. Heís a colorful soul. Heís a limo driver in New York, but thatís not really what he was born to be. It was just one of those unfortunate things, I guess, that when you move to another country, you have to take a few steps down in a class or job just to get by. It was to maintain that color he hasĖthe lack of worry and freedom compared to Holly. But no, it was my stuff. The jacket wasnít mine. We almost used one of my jackets.
EI: Do you have any clothing thatís sentimental?
GB: Well, I have a little leather jacket that I got for about seven dollars in 1986, that Iíve worn so much and even spent my 22nd birthday in jail wearing it, here in LA. I was arrested on my 22nd birthday for drunken and disorderly or something. I was taking a year out here in the States, and the arrest happened, unfortunately, over a weekend, so I ended sitting in a cell. I will never forget being in this tight, tight leather jacket--and this old second-hand, Paul Newman-style jacket--even tighter! And then these eight black guys and one Mexican came in a chain gang--they were already in the proper prison; they were coming to be arraigned from the judge for other offenses. They were all wearing their LA County overalls, and there was me with my ripped 501s and my biker boots and my leather jacket, and I still have that leather jacket.
EI: What kind of drunken behavior landed you in jail?
GB: I ran and tried to jump into a police car, but they had already told me to move on because I was running about and being crazy. Then the next minute, I saw these lights coming towards me. I used to be crazy when I was drunkÖand I ran full-speed at the car. It was driving towards me and I was about to jump onto it, and the light started flashing [Laughs] "Oh f*ck!" This was in 1991 or 1992.
EI: Do you still get drunk?
GB: Not for many years.
EI: You are the biggest Scottish actor in the States. How do you feel about that title?
GB: I donít really think about it. I was thinking more the biggest actor in the world! Iím joking! Why aim small? I hadnít actually considered it. If you start thinking like that, itís very limiting. When youíre measuring somethingÖyou canít measure something like that. I feel that Iíve done way better as an actor when I stop thinking about the effects of what I do. I remember way back when I started, I would perhaps consider the superficial effects of success. Iíd be: "Oh my God, imagine getting this role!" And I would imagine the whole thing and it would never happen. This is kind of sad, actually. It was when I stopped thinking that way and was more directly linked to the job and how to perform it, and also I expected to be doing that job and to have that confidence and belief without being arrogant. Just thinking "I can do this." Thatís when things really started taking off for me. I try not to dwell on things like Iím the biggest Scottish actor this year, because thatís not healthy.
EI: How do you feel about being the sexiest actor in the world, thanks to your six-pack in 300?
GB: How does it feel? [Laughs]
EI: Yes, and how do you keep sexy?
GB: These are such hard questions to answer because if you even answer that, youíre pretty much assuming your sexiness. Itís like if I was to turn that around and ask the same thing and suddenly youíre faced with answering that question. Itís not easy, so I can say that anything like that, to me, is nice. Iím not going to lie! You would rather have that kind of attention or those comments than not, because thatís sweet. Youíd rather have somebody say you were sexy than you werenít sexy and that you were good looking than you were ugly. But at the same time--I can say this from the heart--I donít get too caught up in any of that. Again, just like seeing yourself as the most successful actor from any country, I donít think thatís really healthy. Iíve found in my life that when you start thinking like that, itís not that itís just unhealthy, it makes you less happy. You are getting attached to ideas and notions which are not true.
EI: But you do have a sexy tan and youíre wearing a black sexy shirt.
GB: Youíre calling it sexy, but to me itís a black f*ckin' shirt! By the way, if you ask my manager, we have this argument all the time. Can I just put on a T shirt? "No, you have to look smart! You donít want people going, "He didnít give a shit. He didnít even care." So Iím here doing a job as well.
EI: Is that why you took off your jewelry?
GB: No, you know what happens? My jewelry was easy to get on, and when youíre filmingĖlike the film Iím doing now--I donít wear it, so Iím spending more time filming right nowĖsixteen hours a day. I spend more time with my jewelry off. Itís always in my bag, which weighs a f*ckiní ton, so Iím not going to bother putting it back on. And then it gets lost. I couldnít even tell you where my jewelry is right now.
EI: What is your role in your new film, RocknRolla [Guy Ritchieís new film]?
GB: My character is called One Two. Only Guy Ritchie could make up names like this. Itís all based on various elements of the underworld in London and around property deals. Iím a part of a small-time gang of crooks and weíre all great friends, and not necessarily the best crooks either. Itís back to his days of Snatch and Lock, StockÖ, but Guy Ritchie growing up, in a way. Itís brilliant.
EI: Does playing a character called Gerry have any effect on your real life because youíre called Gerry too?
GB: It was nice to play somebody with my own name, and especially because this character Gerry is so real and natural, and kind of light and fun, and therefore there is a lot of me in that. Thereís a lot of me that lives in that area, so being able to call myself Gerry helped a little bit--not a huge amount, but it definitely helped a little bit with me just being able to relax and be me, and allow the moments and the writing to take over.
EI: What is your plan next?
GB: Different genres, definitely. If you look, Iíve gone from 300 to this, and then thereís the Guy Ritchie film, which is a black comedy. Iíve also just done Nimís Island, which is a family adventure. I havenít anything set in stone, but right now Iím doing an action thriller, and the next one will probably be a romantic comedy or a comedy. I want to keep it fresh and keep surprising myself.
EI: What do you do in your spare time?
GB: I donít have any spare time! [Laughs] These are the only days off from this film Iím doing right now, and itís been spent doing press.
EI: Do you have any time for women?
GB: Yeah, no time for women.
Web reference or, try the new PS I Love You site reference
Author: Emmanuel Itier
Originally published: Fri, 14 Dec 2007