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Category: Interviews
Article Date: June 10, 2009 | Publication: California Chronicle (Daily Record UK) | Author: Rick Fulton
Source: California Chronicle

Posted by: admin

FILM giant Paramount made Gerard Butler go on a media course after he made a joke about Angelina Jolie.

The big-mouthed 39-year-old Scot starred with the Oscar-winning actress on 2003 film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life.

Cracking up, the Glaswegian laughed: "I sat down and said, "Hey, you know, she may have won the Oscar, but I think I really had to bring my acting down to do these scenes with her.'

"It was a complete joke.You read it in print and you think it sounds terrible.

"Angelina was cool. She said she knew I was joking, but Paramount said I was going on a media training course."

So did the media training work? Not exactly, Gerard still likes to tell it like it is.

For new rom-com film The Ugly Truth, in which he plays a chauvinistic character, Gerard, who flexed his muscles in 300 admits:"I think every man has a bit of a sexist and a chauvinist in him if he's being honest."

And what about Jennifer Aniston who he has been linked with and who he will be starring with in new film Bounty Hunter.

"I'm working with Jennifer so obviously I'm having a thing with her," he said.

Leaning forward in the American hotel room where he is doing the rounds for The Ugly Truth, he claims the long list of women he's supposedly dated, including Cameron Diaz, are not true.

"None of them are true. I've managed to have a decent long-term relationships that nobody ever found out about.

"But meanwhile, apparently, I'm dating Jennifer Aniston, Cameron Diaz, anybody that I've ever been spotted talking to or becoming friends with.

"None of those are true." Perhaps the media course didn't go so badly. At least he's not doing a Russell Brand, who is linked with so many women it would be impossible.

But then, while Russell is trying for a Hollywood career, Gerard already has one. After a blip in the title role of the film adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera in 2004, Gerard's stock has risen.

His role as King Leonidas in the sword and sandals film 300 made him into a Sean Connerystyle figure for the action generation. But comedy film P.S. I LoveYou and Nim's Island showed he had a softer side - playing on his tough guy image.

Certainly Gerard bristles if you suggest he's best known for his macho roles.

"I don't think I am," he said. "I think if you watch Nim's Island, I'm exceptionally geeky.

"I think that I try and play roles that are vulnerable, lost or crazy.

"It's just maybe the macho ones I've played have been more memorable movies."

Gerard is enjoying being able to jump from The Ugly Truth to his next film in September, Gamer, a sci-fi film.

"I think there's many different sides to me," said Gerard. "I try to embrace all of them.

"So there is a macho element to me, but I also have my feminine side and my vulnerable side. I'm just like everybody. I'm not just one thing."

Along with AmyWinehouse's producer Mark Ronson and The Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas, Gerard has opened up his own restaurant in Los Angeles called Shin, which serves Korean barbecues.

He said: "It's a bunch of my buddies. They also are involved in Geisha House and another and they asked if I wanted to be a part of it. It was a fun idea and Simon Chin who owns it actually cooked me a Korean barbecue at a party about eight years agowhen I first arrived in Hollywood and I never forgot it."

A Glaswegian owning a Korean restaurant in Los Angeles is maybe a bit strange, but it seems to work.

"It's going well," Gerard said. "I'm very much a silent partner in that.

"But, I was just speaking to Simon the other day, and a couple of people who'd been there recently said it's been doing really well.

Everybody that goes there loves it."

Back to his acting, and Gerard is once again showing he's more than just an action man with The Ugly Truth.

He stars alongside Katherine Heigl in the latest battle of the sexes. The film has been written by two women and Katherine is one of the producers. Gerard is cast as Mike Chadway, a television personality who comes across as crass and vulgar when talkingabout the opposite sex.

Of course this is Hollywood, so Katherine plays Abby, a romantically-challenged morning show producer, who is single but looking for Mr Right. At first they get on like chalk and cheese, but of course true love is right there in front of them.

Gerard scoffs when asked how similar Mike is to him.

"I was disgusted by his attitude. I thought it was ridiculous," he said.

In the movie he speaks with an American accent, but claims the character's jokes are all Scottish.

He said: "We love rude jokes. I think it's a very Scottish thing.

"We love jokes that really push the envelope. I tell them in America sometimes, and it's just on that line between too much and then loving it. They're not used to jokes that are quite so rude."

While he may not spend most of the movie with his top off, the role is still one for the girls and will keep him top of the most sexy lists.

Gerard laughed: "You almost make me feel guilty. I'm sorry they put me in the sexy guy role.

"You know, it's easier to be sexy when it's written for you.

"It's easier for me to be nice in PS I LoveYou where I'm written as nice and sweet.

"It's also easier for me to be obnoxious and rude in this, because it's written that way.

"And then there's, the other thing, which is I'm just damn sexy. So, I can't help that."

And then that media training kicks in and he laughs as he realises what he has just said.

"I'm going to be sent back for the media course, like I was before," he laughed. "Don't take me away."

Gerard was going to be a lawyer and even went to the School of Law at Glasgow University before trying out a career on stage.

His first film role was Archie Brown in 1997's Mrs Brown alongside Billy Connolly, but his first role in a film was further back in 1992's The Bodyguard with Whitney Houston.

Not that you'd be able to spot him. Not even he can.

"The row behind me were cardboard cut-outs of people," he revealed.

"So I was right at the back. "They were just choosing people, saying, 'OK, you over there, and you over there... ' "I looked behind me and thought there was no way I would get on camera."

How times have changed.

The Ugly Truth is released on August 14. Gamer is out on September 4.


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