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Category: Dear Frankie News
Article Date: April 16, 2003 | Publication: Press Association | Author: Rachel Blackburn, PA News

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Tomb Raider actor Gerard Butler today talked about swapping the blockbuster Hollywood action adventure movie for a role in a low-budget drama.

And the 33-year-old star said he prefered making smaller, "more intimate" films such as Natural History which he is currently filming in Glasgow and Greenock with actress Emily Mortimer.

Butler, who also appeared in action hit Reign of Fire, is expected to be catapulted into the Hollywood big time when he stars opposite Oscar winner Angelina Jolie in movie sequel, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, this summer.

But the actor, who has even been tipped by some to be the next James Bond, is not overly keen on big budget action films.

Promoting Natural History in Glasgow today, he said: "I've done a lot of bigger budget things and they are great for what they are but they can do your head in.

"I read the Natural History script and I loved it and I loved the part. With something smaller and more intimate you feel part of the creative process.

"Action-adventure movies are a whole load of fun but get a bit trying because you are talking about stuff that's not based on reality and it's a different style of acting.

"I like diversity but I always find I enjoy the smaller jobs more.

"They are just more intimate and you are doing something that's a bit more meaningful."

In Natural History, the Glasgow-born actor plays a "mystery man" recruited by Emily Mortimer's character Lizzie to pretend to be her son Frankie's father for a day.

Nine-year-old Frankie, who is deaf, has been told his father is away at sea on the HMS Accra.

The truth is that they have actually run away from his father and Lizzie has invented the sailor story to protect him.

But young Frankie - played by Jack McElhone - has been tracking the ship's progress around the world and discovered that it is due to dock in the Scottish seaside town where he now lives.

That leaves Lizzie with the choice of telling her son the truth or finding the perfect stranger to play his father for a day.

Mortimer - who recently married actor Alessandro Nivola in Buckinghamshire - says she was thrilled to make a film in Glasgow.

"The more time I spend here, the more I love it," she said.

"I like the people and being on the edge of such extraordinary and magnificent countryside.

"It's a nice place to work and Glasgow is one of the most exciting places for film at the moment.

"It's a hive of activity as far as the film industry in Britain is concerned and people are incredibly devoted to what they are doing."

And the 31-year-old actress, whose films include Notting Hill, 51st State and Lovely & Amazing, revealed that she prepared for the role by imagining she had children of her own.

She said: "Most of what I did was to imagine what it would be like to have a kid and to feel very protective of your child because he had difficulties."

As preparation, she spent time at a school for deaf children in America.

She said: "I really observed the mothers with their children and how they were with them.

"What was interesting was the close relationship which they had because if you are deaf, your mother becomes the focus of everything, your link to the hearing world.

"There is a closeness but at the same time they are mothers and kids and there is something relaxed and unintense about it as well.

"Getting the balance between the close relationship and one that isn't over-done was the hardest thing."

The film, which is directed by Shona Auerbach, began filming last month.

It is being co-financed by film distributors Pathe, the Film Council and Scottish Screen.

Copyright 2003 The Press Association Limited


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