Tribute.ca Interview Transcript
Category: Transcripts | Posted by: admin
Article Date: March 22, 2005 | Publication: Tribute.Ca | Author: Bonnie
GB: What a great name, Bonnie. Bonnie. (sings) 'on the bonnie bonnie banks of Loch Lomand.'
Bonnie: Are we ready to chat?
GB: (who has just been busted!) oh!
Bonnie: ‘Cause I like the serenade, I really do!
GB: What’s that?
Bonnie: I like the serenade!
GB: Oh, uh, was that on air?
Bonnie: I hope so!
GB: Oh God. Normally they tell me!!
Bonnie: Gerard, we like your voice, we want you to do more singing movies I have to say.
GB: (laughs) Thank you, thank you. I think there’s many people who don’t want me to do more singing movies.
Bonnie: Well I’m in your corner.
GB: Ok, thanks Bonnie.
Bonnie: How are you doing today?
GB: I’m good, I’m good!
Bonnie: Excellent, now listen, I have to tell you, this movie…I saw it way back in August when the Toronto Film Festival presented it, and it still moves me to tears. Unbelievable. And I know you were presented with after, y’know, you were finishing up "Tomb Raider [II]" and training for "Phantom"—but you didn’t jump at it right away, how come?
GB: Because I’m a fool. I read seven pages and it was a family moving house, a boy who was deaf who was going to buy fish n’chips and I thought ‘what is this?’ and threw it away. And then my friend, who is the casting director who I knew before either of us were in the business—he’s from Glasgow—he called me up and he’s like ‘Gerry, this is an award-winning movie man, you got to do this.’ So, he said ‘just do me a favor, just read the script.’ So I did, and for all the reasons that I threw it away, are all the things that are so charming about this movie. It sucks you in. There’s a reality and a naturalness to it. And then you get sucked in to this beautiful, moving little fairy tale which constantly surprises you and makes you think and…I’m just so glad that I went back and read it. I’ve never been more proud of a movie.
Bonnie: Yeah, and I’m glad you did it too because it really, I have to say it’s funny how you’re character doesn’t even have a name, y’know…The Stranger...but his presence is so felt in this movie, it’s unbelievable!
GB: Yeah, I mean I guess it’s such a relevant character and represents so much as well. But I mean, it’s just such an interesting idea. I mean, what the genius is in the script in the way that was crafted and to bring in this man who pretends to play the boy’s dad and then to kind of get sucked into his character as well—where does he come from—and to see him being drawn into their life. It, I mean, I don’t think I’m very erudite about it, but I just know the feeling. It’s like you, you’ve seen it, you loved it—but I just think it’s such a beautifully made movie.
Bonnie: Oh totally, and I know on a personal note it kind of moved you a bit too because I know when you were younger you didn’t see your dad for a long time, so that must have resonated with you.
GB: Yeah, we actually lived in Canada, we lived in Canada—in Montreal—‘til I was two and a half. My mother and father split up and then I saw my dad one day, when I was four, which I have snippets of memory about. And then we didn’t even know if he was alive, or where he was, and then he turned up one day—completely out of the blue—and when I was 16, so there’s that scene in this movie when I turn up and Frankie thinks it’s his father. When I read that, I mean, oh my God, it was a very big moment.
Bonnie: yeah, and it’s all about how far will a mother or father go for their child. It’s quite amazing.
GB: Yeah, yeah I mean that’s what’s really kind of fascinating about it is, it’s the different, there are no kind of “pures” in this movie. What would people do for love, or what they think is acting in the best interest of somebody else, and it’s not always the same thing. We all have different views, but I think what triumphs in the end is you see the kind of beauty in the human spirit in the end, and that we all kind of try our best. That’s what, I find this movie you cry so much, but when you leave you have the biggest smile on your face, y’know, you feel so uplifted. Very refreshing and moving.
Bonnie: Absolutely, totally agree. Now I have to say, I was at the premiere of the "Phantom," and I’ve been on your website, and my God, I don’t think there’s a star out there who has more of a loyal fanbase than you.
GB: It’s a…
Bonnie: where does this come from?!
GB: I don’t know, but it’s amazing, it’s amazing. In fact my fans, we just raised 25,000 dollars for the Tsunami appeal. They’re just incredible. The girl that runs it said to them ‘Y’know what, don’t…’ cause they send a lot of Valentine’s and stuff, and she said ‘don’t send Valentine’s or presents, use that money for the Tsunami.’ And we raised 25,000, so…
Bonnie: Way to go!
GB: Yeah, it…they’re amazing, they’re amazing and they come…like I’m going to be doing Jay Leno tonight, and another show, and they’ve come—I was walking down the street yesterday and two German girls came over and said ‘we flew in from Germany to see you on the Jay Leno show.’ I was like ‘WOW!’
GB: Yeah, I ran…I was a little scared. No, I’m joking, they were lovely! But…
Bonnie: (said jokingly) That is a little scary. Listen, I know you have a couple other films coming up, y’know, what’s the status on the Robbie Burns because wow, as a Scotsman that must be like the dream of a lifetime?
GB: Well it is, to play that role of course, then—like the "Phantom"—you set yourself up for a lot of abuse because everybody has a view on how the Phantom should be played, and how Robert Burns should be played and represented. But we have the most amazing script, and Julia Stiles really wants to do it, and I love her, I think she’s amazing. Brian Cox is going to do it. What we’re doing right now is just—it’s not an easy movie to finance, y’know, it’s a Scottish poet in the 18th century. It’s a tough one. But we’re just finalizing, just putting finishing touches to the financing it. Hopefully it’ll go this summer.
Bonnie: Well I hope so, I’d love to see that.
GB: It’s a great story.
Bonnie: Best of luck, I can’t wait to see you as a Viking too, that’ll be fun.
GB: Oh yeah, well that’s Mr. Sturla Gunnarson who’s from right up your neck of the woods.
Bonnie: Yes, that’s right!
GB: He’s incredible, he’s such an intelligent and talented director and I think we’ve made, again, a really unusual, cool, weird movie.
Bonnie: Well I look forward to it and I hope we get to see you back in Toronto some time soon.
GB: I love Toronto, I love Toronto, I had such a great time up there with the "Phantom." Were you at that one, in Toronto?
Bonnie: I was, I was yes.
GB: That was so much fun.
Bonnie: It was, and you know I’m still behind that film 100%, I thought you were fantastic in it.
GB: Oh thank you very much.
Bonnie: Just keep up the good work and hopefully we’ll get to see you in person soon.
GB: Alright Bonnie, nice to talk to you.
Bonnie: Take care.
GB: Bye bye.
Bonnie: Bye bye.