Gerard Butler's 'warzone' at Paisley
Category: Misc./General Career News | Posted by: maryp
Article Date: October 9, 2009 | Publication: Paisley Daily Express | Author: Cameron Hay
HOLLYWOOD tough guy Gerard Butler was told to ‘shut it’ last night after he claimed that growing up in Paisley was like living in a “warzone”.
The Paisley-born star has made it big in the movies by taking on muscle-bound roles in hit films such as 300.
However, comments he made about his home town in an interview for American style magazine Angeleno have left Paisley’s civic leaders raging.
Butler – who spent part of his childhood in the upmarket area of Ralston – claimed that, as a youngster, he regularly crossed through an “insane” part of Paisley to buy shopping for his mum.
And the 40-year-old actor told how he imagined himself becoming a hero soldier, battling to survive.
Butler, who has been romantically linked with a string of beautiful women, including Jennifer Aniston, added: “It was like going into the land of the movie The Warriors.
“I’d go down there and play SAS, trying to get in and get out without being wounded or killed.
“There were so many people on that street that ended up in prison. It was truly an insane area.”
In his magazine interview, Butler also told how his family quit Paisley when he was just a tot and moved to Canada. They later moved back to Scotland after his mum Margaret and dad Edward split.
Last night, Paisley East and Ralston councillor Jim Sharkey hit back at Butler.
He told the Paisley Daily Express: “I was considering challenging Mr Butler to a duel to defend the honour of the town until one of my colleagues pointed out he was the muscle-bound star of 300.
“However, in light of this revelation, I’d prefer to debate the issues he has raised and show him why he should consider spending his many millions here in Paisley instead of in his home in Canada.
“I am disappointed that someone who has memories of Paisley 30 years ago has been dragged up to damage the reputation of the area today.
“It really does give the wider world a bad impression of the town when it is described as a warzone, especially by someone who grew up on the mean streets of Ralston!
“It is time to talk up Paisley and not talk the town down.”
Renfrewshire Council Leader Derek Mackay has also slammed Butler’s comments about his home town.
He said: “Any town has some less glamorous areas than Gerard is clearly now accustomed to.
“On a more serious note, it’s a shame that, in an effort to promote their latest project, someone chooses to use their fame to denigrate their home town in this rather stereotyped way.”
Butler, who also starred in the romantic comedy P.S. I Love You, is not the first celebrity who was born in Paisley to offer a stinging assessment of the town.
Back in May, singing star Paolo Nutini blasted Paisley and remarked that it is now plagued by drug abuse, boozing and gambling.