GOOD MORNING AMERICA - GERARD BUTLER "THE PHANTOM" REVEALED

Category: Transcripts | Posted by: admin
Article Date: December 14, 2004 | Publication: ABC NEWS | Author: Diane Sawyer
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Off Camera) Thanks, Tony. Well, it has played more -stop laughing at me. Okay, I was just trying to make a gesture and slapped myself so hard I practically knocked myself out here. Anyway, 65,000 performances in 18 countries, 80 million people, Andrew Lloyd Webber's phenomenon, "The Phantom of the Opera" comes to the big screen next Wednesday in select cities.

DIANE SAWYER

(Voice Over) And next year, it's going to be all around the country. It is sumptuous. It is romantic. It is "The Phantom of the Opera." And at the center of it is a Scottish actor, Gerard Butler, who is, in "The New York Times," according to them, commanding the screen, they say, with sulfurous intensity.

DIANE SAWYER

(Off Camera) The man behind the mask, joining us right here. Where is that sulfur? I don't know. (inaudible).

GERARD BUTLER, "THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA"

I'm a big puppy dog. You know, I don't know where, I don't where that came from. That was a, it's nice to have a nice review, don't you think?

DIANE SAWYER

(Off Camera) It's great. And we should say he's Scottish.

GERARD BUTLER

Scottish, yes. Yeah.

DIANE SAWYER

(Off Camera) Right. If you haven't guessed that yet. Is this a true story? You had no singing lessons, you go in to audition for Andrew Lloyd Webber, and you've only sung with like a rock band in school?

GERARD BUTLER

I, yeah, I sang with a rock band when I was training as a lawyer, and I just did that for fun because I wasn't very happy doing what I was doing. And then when Joel came to me and said, you know, I'm interested in you for this, I thought ...

DIANE SAWYER

(Off Camera) Joel Schumacher, the director.

GERARD BUTLER

... Joel Schumacher, the director, I thought, why, why me? I've never sung anything like this. So, I went to a singing coach and, and said to her, look, if, if I can't do this, tell me, because I'm not going to waste anybody's time.

DIANE SAWYER

(Off Camera) Because your mother, when you told her you were going to audition, said, can you sing?

GERARD BUTLER

Everybody said that. They -I said it's "Phantom of the Opera" and I watched their mind process as they went, really, is it a musical? And I said, yeah. And they went, hmm, can you sing? And I went, apparently. Andrew Lloyd Webber thinks I can, you know? So ...

DIANE SAWYER

(Off Camera) Were your knees knocking? Was your heart pounding?

GERARD BUTLER

When I started, yeah. I mean, I wasn't very nervous until I stood in front of the piano. And then the enormity of what I was doing, you know, hit me in that moment and my right leg took on a life of its own. And Simon Lee, the musical director ...

DIANE SAWYER

(Off Camera) Right.

GERARD BUTLER

... was going (gasps). I thought he was having a heart attack in front of me but he was just saying breathe, breathe. You have to breathe.

DIANE SAWYER

(Off Camera) Because you had just stopped. You were going straight through.

GERARD BUTLER

Because as soon as you get nervous, and you don't have the experience, and you stop breathing, you know? So ...

DIANE SAWYER

(Off Camera) Okay. Well, let's flash forward, because here you are, we have a little clip from "Phantom of the Opera."

clip from "the phantom of the opera"

DIANE SAWYER

(Off Camera) Everybody just wants, like, keep going, keep going ...

GERARD BUTLER

Keep going. Let's see some more, yeah.

DIANE SAWYER

(Off Camera) ... when you hear that music. Now, the -the mask itself, how does it stay on? Is it glued? Is it ...

GERARD BUTLER

We tried on hundreds of masks ...

DIANE SAWYER

(Off Camera) Yeah.

GERARD BUTLER

... you know, of different shapes and sizes and materials, and then the day we went to finally -I had always just done it like this (touches face), and the day we went to finally put it on, we said, how, how do you put this on? Nobody knew. And we're like, we're about to film and we didn't even know how to put on the mask.

DIANE SAWYER

(Voice Over) Thought of everything but that.

GERARD BUTLER

So, we finally found this, this double sided sticky tape, a special kind that, that we would (inaudible).

DIANE SAWYER

(Voice Over) But nine hours sometimes?

GERARD BUTLER

No, not for the mask. that was for the prosthetic.

DIANE SAWYER

(Voice Over) Oh, that's for everything under the mask?

GERARD BUTLER

The first, yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, they had to glue my eye and - put a piece of string that went right around my back and pulled down, to pull my eye down like that. It wasn't very comfortable.

DIANE SAWYER

(Off Camera) You're singing, your eye ...

GERARD BUTLER

I'm singing, yeah, yeah, and I have this prosthetic and this skull cap, and, yeah.

DIANE SAWYER

(Off Camera) Well, you said something which I think is really wonderful about the phantom, which is, you know, for all people think that it's just a, it's mythology and expletives, that it really does touch something inside of all of us which is, could we be rejected? Is there a part of us that no one will ever love?

GERARD BUTLER

Yeah. Well, that's, that's what touched me when I first read the script. You know, I just so felt this man's pain. I think if anything, the, the feeling you really get from this "Phantom" is very, I mean, it's obviously sexy, it's Joel Schumacher, but it's sexy and romantic, but I really felt it was melancholy. You know, just to suddenly, to have been in that position your whole life, to know and be aware that nobody wants anything to do with you, and you can't even have that companionship or that love with just one person. 'Cause really, he only wants it with one person. Just some form of connection. And whenever I touched that, it just broke my heart. And then when you add this music, you know, this sweeping music, which really helps you climb into that emotion, you just kind of abandon yourself to that. And it does, I think it touches something really primalesque (PH) and of an (inaudible) fear or sadness that lies within all of us. And I think maybe that's why it's been so popular around the world.

DIANE SAWYER

(Off Camera) I want to say that fear or sadness -everyone, everyone wants to say ...

GERARD BUTLER

Everybody (inaudible).

DIANE SAWYER

(Off Camera) I know. Everybody wants, wants to talk like that, with that cadence there. So, are you happy? This has got to be a great time in your life.

GERARD BUTLER

Yeah, I'm happy. I mean, it's busy, I'm all over the place. It's crazy. But, you know, I've done many movies that I have to talk about that I'm not proud of and I have to pretend. This, I love. I'm so, you know, where Joel has taken it, where Andrew's taken the music, and just to be a part of it, you know. And to see the reaction that I've seen from audiences, you know, it's such a great feeling to, to, to, to move people or entertain people like that.

DIANE SAWYER

(Off Camera) It comes thundering into the theaters next week in select cities, as we said, December 22nd. And it's great to meet you.

GERARD BUTLER

You, too.

DIANE SAWYER

(Off Camera) Great to have you here. Coming up next, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra doing that thing they do.