Gerard Butler rocks Comic-Con with 'RocknRolla'

Category: RockNRolla News | Posted by: maryp
Article Date: July 24, 2008 | Publication: | Author: Daniel Fienberg

Long-outmoded conventional wisdom used to say that Comic-Con offered few objects for female affections. As if! On Thursday (July 24), attendees could turn their attentions to Edward or Jacob (of Twilight), to Keanu or Hugh (of 20th Century Fox) and to a double-dose of Chris "Ludacris" Bridges. But if you've been to a convention in recent years, you know that few Lotharios have Gerard Butler's sway with this kind of audience.

Almost single-handedly, the 300 star was able to lure a large crowd into Hall H to see early footage of his Guy Ritchie crime drama RocknRolla. After near-silent Dark Castle panels for direct-to-DVD movies and a new comic book line (and, if I'm being fair, a reasonably spirited chat with Ninja Assassin star Rain), Butler and the RocknRolla team were pelted with a long line of questions, questions that were almost all directed at the former Phantom of the Opera.

Butler initially rewarded each questioner with a rakish smile and a semi-answer, like the most charming and ribald talk show guest you could ever hope for.

Was RocknRolla as physically challenging as 300?

"No, this wasn't as physically challenging as 300. Obviously not. But there was some physically challenging stuff in it."

How does he prepare to act?

"Get out of bed. Jump in the shower. Sometimes. And then go to work. I got to say I feel silly talking about it. When I hear other people do it, I go, 'Oh, shut up.'"

What was the oddest moment on the set?

"Nothing other than getting a shot of B-12 in my arse from [Ritchie's] wife Madonna."

What does he hope to do next?

"Halle Berry. Is that too much?... I don't really understand the word genre enough to know what's left. Thriller, maybe? It's the next thing that interests me."

As time passed, Butler tossed first one chocolate into the crowd and eventually several, prompting a mini-riot each time.

"It's starting to be a bit like Seaworld, here," he cracked. "By the way, I worked at Seaworld when I was 17."

Sensing his hold on the room, Butler did his part to stir up the requisite enthusiasm for his new movie.

"Did you like the trailer? Did you like the trailer? Well make some f***ing noise."

The trailer may not have delivered a roar when it first played, but at Butler's urging, the noise was retroactive.

And the other actors on the panel began to sense who was in charge.

"I play Mumbles and *Gerry Butler* plays my sidekick," said Idris Elba, describing his character and hitching his wagon to the Butler Bus. "So I'm associated with Gerry for the rest of my life."

Butler created an atmosphere of sufficient mirth that everybody was getting involved.

For example, after a question to Ritchie began by mentioning the harsh critical reaction for his recent films, the director interjected with "That's not true! They loved them."

And when the questioner continued by inquiring if that reception made Ritchie feel like he needed to return to his Snatch and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels comfort zone, Ritchie's answer was brief and enthusiastic.


So will RocknRolla be any good? Let's hear Butler's answer:

"Goddamn yeah. It's so good. It's better than sex. Not with me."

Would I like to be Gerard Butler? Yes. Yes, I probably would. At least for a long weekend.