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Showtime Interview (Japan)

Category: Transcripts
Article Date: February 9, 2005 | Publication: Showtime (Japan) | Author: broadcasters

Posted by: admin

Japan Showtime Interview

Q: How did you get the role?

Gerry: The director called, Joel Schumacher, a started calling my agent saying, “Can Gerry sing?”, because I am interested in him for the Phantom. And even my Agent said “I don’t know, you know I I think he has sung before, but I don’t think he has ever sung this.” So, um I had a meeting with Joel after reading the script and listening to the music and I knew then, that I really wanted to do it, just really touched me. Um, we had a great meeting and in that meeting he said, “I want you to be the Phantom.” It is just as simple as that. “Just let’s see now if you can sing.” So, I began singing and sang with a singing coach who I had got in touch with and then I had to sing for the musical director of the Phantom, Simon Lee, and then I had to go and sing “Music of the Night” for Andrew Lloyd Webber. Which was quit scary but it seemed to go well, because here I am talking to about playing the Phantom. (Laughs)

Q: What did you particularly keep in mind on acting the Phantom?

Gerry: It probably was the singing. Um, especially for the Phantom, I think in some ways more so then anybody else because I had less opportunity to express myself. Um, because I think the roll is more stylized, he’s more pulled back and focused and obviously I have a mask on my face. So being able to express as much of the um, of the emotion and story and journey of the Phantom in every moment in a subtle and an interesting in an um intimate way had to come from from the voice. I had to say so much with the voice and obviously not coming in to the project as a singer, I also had to a learn the technical rules of singing, so that they were just there and then I had to let them go and the same time perform and I was also performing in another accent. I was singing in an English accent so there were many things to consider in the singing and it’s not the easiest music to sing. It’s kind of soft opera, which I had never done before, so it was a big challenge but it was a fun challenge.

Q: What was the scene that troubled you the most?

Um, probably the big finale in the water, um when there’s the three of us:
One, because it was in the water and there was that created a lot of technical problems. It was such an important moment in the movie; that we had to shoot it from many different angles. It was incredibly hot and I had the prosthetic on and we had to be very careful that the prosthetic, which takes hours to put on and a couple hours to take off, that it wasn’t damaged. Because if you sweat it starts to melt and if we did that, we lost the day of filming. So and also it was so emotional charged with everybody, that I have never seen so much emotion in one space. Um, and it took days to film. We were filming that for good, um that whole sequence was a week and a half being in this oven, sweaty oven you know, and performing for me especially, I was having a mental breakdown. I was in such a space of pain and madness and craziness and violence. So, yeah that was a, I was ready to, I was pretty much ready to retire from acting after that.

Q: Are there any parts of the Phantom which you can sympathize with?

Gerry: Um, just that, that that very same thing I think. Um, there were many, many things that about the Phantom, when you climb into the role, that you appreciate, that you empathize with, that you sympathize with, that you understand, um parts of which you enjoy, parts of which you hate. Um, but I think that the thing that first really grabbed me about the Phantom and that stuck with me all the way through, was the sadness the of the character. This primal inalienable, um sadness and pain and loneliness that that he he felt and the desperation that that brought. In fact the very solace that Christine gives him, brings such desperation that this is something that he might not have forever or he might not be able to extend and um and and deepen. So, that was always you know when we were, you know Joel Schumacher, who totally understood everything about the roll, but was always pushing the sexiness. So he would say, ‘sexy’ and I would say, ‘but it’s so sad.’ He’d say yeah, ‘but sexy.’ And I go, ‘Okay, sexy but sad.’ That is essentially the Phantom, he’s sexy but sad. (Laugh)

Q: Were there any effect inside your self after shooting this film?

Gerry: Um, the internal things, every roll in some ways effects and deepens your understanding of life or can be therapeutic experience, um and and dealing with a lot of stuff, the you know the baggage that you have in your own life, and I think none more so than the Phantom. I came to understand a lot of things about myself through that and maybe may be love myself a little more. Um ugh externally, yeah, you know obviously this has been a great roll to play, it’s a great roll for an actor to take on. So, there is a lot more public awareness, there’s a lot more um, there’s been a lot of traveling, a lot of interviews, there’s a lot of attention. Um, and and that’s great but it all happens within the context of what I think is a great movie. You know it just has been wonderful to take on such an interesting, beautiful, romantic and yet tragic roll and then just do your bit and see what it has be come part of.

Message, Please:

Gerry: Konnichiwa (good afternoon) and I am Gerard Butler and I play the Phantom in “The Phantom of the Opera” and you are watching Showtime, enjoy.

Thanks to timeflies and pinkhouse for the transcript!


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