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Unmasked - Phantom of the Opera star Gerard Butler reveals his highly eclectic approach to personal style

Category: Interviews
Article Date: December 6, 2004 | Publication: DNR | Author: Jessica Pallay

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Gerard Butler's next task is to stock his closet in his New York City apartment. Although he has Helmut Lang, Prada and Nicole Farhi in mind, the actor may have to wait a few more weeks to begin filling the drawers in his new real estate purchase.

"I can't wait to settle in," Butler says, over a breakfast of eggs, potatoes and a cigarette during DNR's photo shoot. "I'm ready to put all of my clothes into a bag and just start over."

Before taking residence, though, Butler has a few grueling weeks ahead of him, promoting his upcoming Joel Schumacher film, The Phantom of the Opera, in which he plays the title role.

In the screen version of the Andrew Lloyd Webber Broadway classic, Butler dons handsome tuxedos, silk shirts, long-tail jackets and luxurious capes. "The costumes were the most exquisite I've ever seen in my life," he says, singing out his Red Death creation for the masquerade ball as his favorite. "The way the cloak came back whenI walked, it looked lik there was a trail of blood behind me."

Offscreen, though, the Scotsman is much less extravagant. "I'm most comfortable when I'm dressed down," he says. "I love to wear jeans, the more beaten up, the better."

Case in point: The self-avowed secondhand shopper arrived at the photo studio in worn denim jeans, paired with a $3 olive-green T-shirt he found at a London flea market. "I've had it since '93," he proudly proclaims. "I get really attached to certain clothes. If I lose something traveling, I can be depressed for days."

Butler also admits to an obsession for jackets. "I have so many jackets, I don't know where they all came from!"

He cites a Costume National creation as a favorite, along with a wardrobe pickup from 2003's Lara Croft: Tomb Raider sequel. "I wore a black leather jacket in Tomb Raider, and when it was through, I bought 10 more."

It's evident that Butler is a man who knows what he likes to wear, and how he likes to wear it. The photo shoot offers further proof.

He is willing to put on an Oxxford tailored look but insists on rolling up the cuffs and losing the stuffy jacket. He opts to switch a simple Helmut Lang white shirt for a similar one with a bibbed front. He throws a gray Nicole Farhi scarf over a formal black velvet blazer.

Butler's rols as the Phantom already has some whispering the "O" word. But even before the Academy Awards nominations are announced, he's going to be yanked out of whatever anonymity he still has in New York City. Once The Phantom of the Opera hits screens, Butler may wish he'd snagged his character's legendary mask to be the first item hanging in the closet of his new apartment.


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