Gerard Butler Interview, RocknRolla, Toronto 2008 (Blog)
Category: RockNRolla News | Posted by: DaisyMay
Article Date: September 12, 2008 | Publication: Machinery | Author: Staff
Gerard Butler is serving as the posterboy for Guy Ritchie’s RocknRolla, but the truth is that he’s just one piece in the pie. He just happens to be the piece who has the added fruit filling of having starred in that little movie about Spartans. So, he’s now the de facto go to “face” for any film he’s going to co-star in.
He turns in a very solid performance as the down on his luck criminal One-Two in the movie, and unless he decides to play a role where he’s a homosexual struggling to break free from the bounds of oppression in Middle America, it’s as far as he can go to the other end of the spectrum from his turn as King Leonidas in 300. Check out the interview with him below and find out why he just can’t fake an orgasm.
What made you want to work on a Guy Ritchie film?
I just always thought “Guy Ritchie” had a nice zip to the the name. Ritchie, I dunno. Guy. Short, sweet. I thought, “I wanna work with a name like that.” Plus, I read the script… I’d been doing a couple of quite serious things. You come across something like this and think, “That makes me laugh. A lot.” I thought it would be crazy and frenetic and fun. Obviously it was a great cast as well, I think I was one of the last people cast on the movie.
Actually, some of the more insane elements in the story turn out to be true stories. For instance, Handsome Bob’s admission to myself that he’s in love with me. You think, “Wow, what a genius idea is that,” then Guy will say “No, that actually happened to Turbo” who is one of his co-writers on the movie. To me, and that’s a perfect example, it’s just Guy Ritchie growing up. He has a broader perspective on life, he’s in touch with his feminine side and now he’s able to move into boardrooms and ballrooms, as well as the working man’s pub and the underworld.
There’s an extremely short, sort of “sexless sex scene” in the film that lasts about five seconds. Was there more to that when you shot it, or was it always planned like that?
It’s called getting sick. I wasn’t well, and it was very much something that was improvised in the moment. Look, I don’t care about the other people, I still would have done it. *laughs* Actually I think it was psychosomatic nerves. Actually, it’s like how do you do a sex scene and not push into some kind of a cliche? In hindsight, I think I got sick deliberately. I’ll do anything to make a good movie.
When Guy asked us to writhe around in the bed, each separately and have an orgasm, I was literally running around the room jumping up and down saying “I can’t do this! I can’t do this!” I was so embarassed. It was literally like “Put your face in the camera and come.” I was thinking “This might be the first time in my life I’ll have to say I can’t do anything because I’m too embarassed.” Thandie was so bang on in that scene… maybe that’s not a good word to use when describing that, bang on.
So you can’t come on camera, but slow-dancing with another man is no problem?
There were a few things I had to do on this movie that weren’t easy. There were fun, and they were funny, but they were also very embarrassing. There were times when I was like, “Okay, get me out of here.” Like the scene where I’m dancing with Thandie. We spent the whole afternoon or close to a day doing that.
Do you improvise much on a Guy Ritchie set?
When you finish sentences in a scene, you normally add on a few words like, “You know what I mean?” or something like that. You realize that doesn’t work in Guy Ritchie movies. You talk, but there’s a certain clipped nature and a certain rhythm. When you get in there you might want to add stuff on, but then you start to realize it doesn’t work.
What were those fight scenes like to choreograph?
It’s funny, I was talking about this with Guy the other day. A lot of people’s favorite scenes are where there’s no dialogue on the screen, and it’s during that big long chase / fight scene. It’s funny because it’s got nothing to do with his writing, and nothing to do with my acting. We’re just running around like crazy people. I was like jumping over fences and running up and down that railway all day. You always get a couple of bangs here and there, but it was nothing major.
He had this idea to do a chase scene where you can club these guys, you can knife these guys, you can shoot them with a machine gun, but they ain’t gonna die. They just keep coming and keep coming. That thought is actually a terrifying notion, but it’s also hilarious! Initially when it was written, my mates disappeared in that scene with the money, and the guys keep coming on after me, and I have a line that’s something like “Why me?!” But that got cut. There was also a scene where you see me running in a gym, and that sort of establishes me as a runner, but that got cut too.