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Actor 'Rediscovered Glasgow' During Filming

Category: Dear Frankie News
Article Date: August 27, 2004 | Publication: | Author: Hilary Duncanson

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The leading actor in a movie which is to receive its UK premiere tonight, today described filming on location in the west coast of Scotland as “just a really good, simple experience”.

Tomb Raider star Gerard Butler, who grew up in Paisley, said that shooting Dear Frankie in and around Greenock gave him an opportunity to “rediscover Glasgow”.

The actor, who features alongside Young Adam star Emily Mortimer, was speaking ahead of tonight’s red carpet reception for the first British public screening of his latest film at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Speaking at the capital’s Sheraton Grand Hotel, Butler said: “I had such a great time making this movie.

“To be back in Greenock, to be staying in Glasgow where it seemed like there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, felt like I rediscovered Glasgow.

“I was forced to spend time there and had such a fantastic film.

“It was just a really good, simple experience.

“It is far more rewarding when you take on a script and do a movie that you really believe in.”

The 2004 British film is the debut feature of director Shona Auerbach, who unusually also took on the role of director of photography.

Commenting on the location, she said: “We were incredibly lucky with the weather because apparently we had the hottest March in 22 years. That went in our favour.

“I was looking for a something that was very visual because that is the way I think, I suppose. There were plenty of fantastic locations.”

Dear Frankie is written by Andrea Gibb, who won the Festival’s Audience Award last year with her script for the film Afterlife.

Her latest script tells the story of Lizzie, played by Mortimer, who concocts a story to explain the absence of a father for her deaf young son Frankie (Jack McElhone).

As the story unfolds, she engages a handsome stranger, played by Butler, to play the part of the father for a fee.

Butler confesses he was drawn to the role partly because of difficulties he had in his own life with the relationship with his own father.

He said: “You read a script and it is obvious the more it touches you the more interested you are in doing it.

“If you had a similar experience, it tends to touch you more.”

The film, which premiered at Tribaca to some acclaim, has been hailed by Festival organisers as “a delicately observed and remarkably touching film” and “quality mainstream cinema”.

Gibb, speaking about her tag as one of Scotland’s leading screenwriters, said: “It is fantastic to have the stuff that you write made (into a film).

“That is what every scriptwriter dreams of.

“I think it is just by a combination of luck and hard work.”

The film has its first public screening at the UGC Cinema at Edinburgh’s Fountainpark at 6.30pm tonight and will be shown again tomorrow at a later time.


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