Category: Gamer News | Posted by:admin Article Date: August 28, 2009 | Publication: USA Today Weekend | Author: Lorrie Lynch Publication/Article Link:USA Today Weekend
Gerard Butler’s been spending his summer with Jennifer Aniston — rumor is they're even dating — filming the new movie The Bounty in New Jersey and New York, and that’s where our Brian Truitt found him when he talked with Butler for a feature in this weekend’s magazine. Next Friday, Butler, who starred in 300, returns to the action world for Gamer, a movie co-starring John Leguizamo and Michael C. Hall. Butler plays a man trying to stay alive in a futuristic video game. Check out a clip from the movie below, and read more from Brian’s conversation with Butler about Gamer, his favorite action hero, and how he quit smoking.
Was Gamer an action script that came along after the success of 300?
I was getting action scripts before 300. But after 300, I kind of made a commitment to just be careful what I was doing in terms of action movies ...nothing too ridiculous. But then this one came along, and it was just original and punchy and adrenaline-fueled. I thought, “Well, you know what, why not go and have some fun for a few months and blow some [stuff] up?” Nobody will ever have seen anything like this before, for better or for worse.
As a kid, were you all about action movies?
I would have loved 300 and Gamer. I grew up with all kinds of movies in Scotland, but without a doubt if I had seen either of those two movies as a kid, they would be blowing my mind.
Is there a specific actor these days that you think makes for a great action hero?
I’m a big Christian Bale fan. When he’s keeping it together and not losing his mind, he plays a fair action hero. [Laughs] By the way, all the more that kind of character he is, somebody who performs, that’s why he does venture into the other side. I kind of get that, I understand that. Maybe being an actor, I have a little more forgiveness, but at the same time his intensity is unrivaled really in actors of my generation.
There is a significant amount of female adoration for you. How has that affected you off-screen?
I don’t take it all too seriously. I feel there are far more pressing matters at hand, like how to cook myself breakfast and how to make work on time. When you hear great stories or somebody speaks from the heart and tells you how much they love your work, that's part of the reason you do this. You can’t beat that.
You kicked the smoking habit, but a lot of people have struggled with it, even our own president. What advice would you give to somebody trying to quit?
Keep trying, whether you’re successful on the first or the 10th time. I have tried so many times and over a seven-year period, I quit 40 times. It became unforced agony in stopping and starting again. Giving up smoking is easy – I’ve done it hundreds of times! [Laughs] What did it for me was taking time out of my life and actually going away somewhere. I actually went to the Chopra Center in southern California and spent two weeks doing yoga and taking courses. So for one, my mind was completely involved in something else so I didn’t have time to sit and brood about having to give up smoking. Maybe more importantly than that was the meditation and doing yoga. I was in a great place, I was very much in my own body, and in two weeks I actually thought, “Am I even quitting smoking?”
What kind of courses did you take?
Believe it or not, one of them was an ayurvedic cooking course. You use herbs and things in cooking. I can’t remember if I did that because I had an interest or it was just the course that they had on the time I went there. [Laughs] And the other one was a course in quantum physics and other realities. I find that fascinating anyway.
After a bunch of hero roles, you’re playing the bad guy in Law Abiding Citizen opposite Jamie Foxx. I know you went to law school back in Scotland. Did director F. Gary Gray sign you on as the legal consultant?
No. I turned F. Gary Gray onto the project because I produced it. He didn’t sign me on to anything! [Laughs] After doing a couple of romantic comedies, I wanted to go and do a thriller. I had a choice to play the hero or the villain – or the antagonist, I don’t know if villain is the right word for that – but I’ve played the hero so now I want to go play the antagonist. It’s always taking on things that I feel allow me to have the [crap] scared out of me, to keep me anxious and challenged.