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Good Morning America Transcript

Category: Interviews
Article Date: December 14, 2004 | Publication: Good Morning America - ABC Television | Author: Thanks to fieryangel for transcribing
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Diane: (giggles), OK I was just trying to make a gesture and slapped myself so hard I practically knocked myself out here, anyway… (Gerard giggles in background) 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. 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 Scottish actor Gerard Butler, who is--in the New York Times, according to them--‘commanding the screen’ they say, ‘with sulfurous intensity.’ The man behind the mask, joining us…right here. Where’s that sulfur? I don’t know, where’s that intensity??

Gerard: I’m a big puppy dog, y’know, I dunno…I dunno where that came from. That was, it’s nice to have a nice review I’ll tell ya!

Diane: It’s great! And, we should say, he’s Scottish…

Gerard: Scottish, yes.

Diane: If you haven’t guessed that yet. Anyway, is this a true story? You had no singing lessons, you go into audition for Andrew Lloyd Webber? And you only sung with like a rock band in school?

Gerard: 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 ‘I’m interested in you for this’ and I thought…(Diane interrupts)

Diane: Joel Schumacher…

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

Diane: ‘Cause your mother, when you told her you were going to audition said, ‘can you sing?’

Gerard: Everybody said that! I said ‘It’s Phantom of the Opera’ and I watched their mind processes and 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…’

Diane: Were your knees knocking, was your heart pounding?

Gerard: 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 hit me in that moment and my right leg took on a life of its own! And Simon Lee, the musical director, was going (Gerard takes over exaggerated deep breathes) I thought he was having a heart attack in front of me, but he was just saying ‘breathe….BREATHE’…(Diane interrupts)

Diane: Cause you just stopped and you were going straight through.

Gerard: Just cause you’re so nervous and you don’t have the experience and you stop breathing y’know.

Diane: Ok, well let’s flash forward, because here you are in a little clip from “the Phantom of the Opera.”

(plays clip)

Everybody just wants to keep going!

Gerard: Keep going, lets see some more!

Diane: Now, the mask itself, how does it stay on? Is it glue?

Gerard: We tried on hundreds of masks, of different shapes and sizes, and materials, and then the day we went to finally fit…I’d always just done it like this (holding finger to face), and the day we went to finally put it on, we said ‘how do we put this on?’ nobody knew. And we’re like, ‘we’re about to film and we don’t even know to throw on the mask.’ So we finally found this double sided sticky tape, a special kind, that we would…(Diane interrupts.)

Diane: But 9 hours sometimes?

Gerard: No, not for the mask, that was for the prosthetics…(Diane interrupts AGAIN)

Diane: Oh, that was for everything under the mask?

Gerard: Yeahyeahyeah, I mean they had to glue my eye and pull a piece of string that went right ‘round my back and pull down to pull my eye down like that (Gerard gestures). It wasn’t very comfortable.

Diane: You’re singing, you’re eye…

Gerard: I’m singing, yeahyeah, and I have this prosthetic and this skull cap and…yeah.

Diane: Well, you said something which I think is really wonderful about the Phantom, which is--for all people think that it’s just a, it is mythology and expletives--that it really does touch something inside all of us, which is ‘could we be rejected? Is there a part of us that no one will ever love?

Gerard: Yeah, I, that’s what touched me when I first read the script. I just so felt this man’s pain. I think if anything, the feeling you really get from this Phantom, is very…I mean it’s obviously very sexy…it’s Joel Schumacher, but it’s sexy and romantic but I really felt it was melancholy. 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, 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 when you add this music, 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 primal, this kind of inalienable 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: I wanna say that (with her attempt at Scottish accent) ‘fear and sadness around the world…’

Gerard: Everyone around the world is scared!

Diane: Everyone wants to talk like that, with that cadence. So, ya happy? This has got to be a great time in your life?

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

Diane: He comes thundering into the theaters next week in select cities as we said, December 22nd. It’s great to meet you.

Gerard: You too.

Diane: Great to have you here.

 


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