Exclusive: Scots star Gerard Butler ready for homecoming premiere - and hitting 40
Category: Interviews | Posted by: admin
Article Date: November 6, 2009 | Publication: Daily Record | Author: John Dingwall
Publication/Article Link:Daily Record
Gerard Butler admits his toughest role yet will be keeping his accent. Hollywood's most bankable Scot has never forgotten the abuse doled out to Sheena Easton when the 9 To 5 singer played the Big Day concert in Glasgow in 1990.
Sheena was pelted with bottles and cans as she performed at Glasgow Green due to her phoney American tones.
Gerard knows his A-list roles in Hollywood have put him in danger of developing a mid-Atlantic drawl that could spark ridicule when he returns to Scotland for the premiere of his new film, Law Abiding Citizen.
He admitted: "I have to tell you, there's nobody better or worse than the Scots. They are so patriotic and passionate.
"But we are very quick to say, 'Ah, you think you are the big man'. And to see anybody being influenced in any way by another culture is a fate worse than death, especially to speak in an American accent.
"I was doing an interview about a year and a half ago in London and I said the word soccer instead of football and for the rest of the interview I could hardly breathe.
"My face was so red. Literally. I am getting it
again now.Whenever I think of it I start to panic
because the word soccer is so American and because when Sheena Easton left Glasgow she talked with a really strong accent. Then she spent a couple of years in the US and was suddenly talking like an American and saying how much she loved the States.
"In Scotland we were like, 'B***h, how dare she? Burn her at the stake.'" Clearly proud of his Scottish roots and determined to stay true to them, Gerard hopes he'll be cut some slack at the movie premiere if he does slip up, if only because his profession demands a certain flexibility of accent.
He said: "Now I have become that guy but at least she was a singer. I have to do these accents.
"In this movie I am playing an American so I am speaking the whole time in an American accent. I have to change how I use the muscles and tip of the tongue and the emphasis I put on sounds.
"I did four movies in a row in an American accent so it can't not have an effect on how you speak normally, but I hear myself and I cringe. And I go back to Scotland and see them looking at me going,'Oh you b*****d.' "Yet in America I am still not American.
They still think you have a funny accent and in Scotland you have a funny accent. So I am kind of drowning in the middle of the Atlantic. It's terrible."
Having starred in box office-successes as diverse as battle epic 300, romantic comedy P.S. I LoveYou and gangster flick RocknRolla, Gerard now has the kind of clout that enabled him to fix it to have the UK premiere of Law Abiding Citizen, which also stars Jamie Foxx, in Glasgow. The star-studded bash will be held at Cineworld in Renfrew Street on Sunday, November 15.
However Gerry, who graduated in law before finding fame on the big screen, admits his homeland brings him back down to earth.
He said: "The place where I see less reaction than anywhere in the world is Scotland and I think it's because so much of my success has happened elsewhere.
"I grew up in Glasgow. I spent a lot of time out and about on the social scene, or studying law in the middle of the city, but when I go home I try to spend as much time with my family who now live in the Highlands.
"So I will arrive in Glasgow, get in my car and go straight to the Highlands where often I just don't see many people. So it's been harder to gauge the reaction to my success in Scotland because I am not so much around a lot of people any more.
"But for this reason we are having the premiere of Law Abiding Citizen in Glasgow, which is rare. They don't have premieres in Glasgow, especially not Hollywood movies.
"It allows me to go there and say 'thank you' because every part of me that goes in movies is all from my Scottishness, it's from where I grew up, it's from the people around me, it's from my family, it's from the humour that exists there. That is what made me who I am and brought me here."
The day before the premiere, the Paisley-born actor will celebrate his 40th birthday with his niece who turns 11, one of four celebrations to mark the milestone.
He said: "I am going to celebrate. I have to do a TV show in London the night before, but it's a big deal. It's Jonathan Ross and will be a big thing for me because I have never done it before so it felt nice to do that on the eve of my 40th.
"On my birthday itself I am going to have a party in London which is great because I don't get to spend a lot of time there any more.
"The next day I am going up to Glasgow where I am having a shared birthday party with my 11-year-old niece, which I am a little bothered about because I deserve all the attention but she is getting some of it.
"No, it's lovely, so I am going to have a family party with her, then when I make it back to NewYork I will do something there.
"I might even have something in LA as well but I am not going to have any big parties, just little fun ones."
The plot for Butler's new movie centres on his character, Clyde Shelton, who goes all out for revenge after his wife and daughter are murdered during a burglary at their home.
Meanwhile, Gerard admits turning 40 has made him consider whether the time might be right to get married and start a family in real life.
He said: "Right now, yes, I question a bunch of things in my life and I am in a lot of ways more comfortable than ever. I know what still excites me, what can excite me and what is just never going to happen.
"But then also there are things I have different opinions on. Sometimes I think, 'God, I wish I was married now, had kids'. Other times I think, 'Thank Christ I am not married and don't have kids yet. I can do that later.'
"But I can totally imagine it. It's just not right now. I am great where I am at but it would be nice. It doesn't have to be marriage. It could be to be in a relationship and I would definitely like kids some day."
Gerard, who scooped an award at the GQ Men Of The Year ceremony on Tuesday night, has been linked with a string of beauties including Jessica Simpson and Jennifer Aniston and claims he has no perfect woman in mind.
"I don't know because often I feel that I meet a girl that is unexpected," he said.
"There is no rhyme or reason. I always thought I don't want a girl who is too crazy, too much for me, and then I meet a girl who is crazy and I go,
'Wow, she is amazing.' "But I can't ever give a definite kind of woman because there are different things in different women I might like.
"I might like a girl who is gentle and innocent, but then again I might like a woman who is more statuesque and strong and powerful, it's the polar opposites. It just depends on the moment, on the person, on magic."