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"Gerard Butler: The Man of Many Faces"

Category: Interviews
Article Date: April 29, 2005 | Publication: FLOW Magazine | Author: Jayine Chung

Posted by: admin

The name Gerard Butler will probably not ring a bell to many.

What makes this 35 year-old interesting is that he is from Scotland (yes, he wears kilts), and is currently touted as being the next big thing in Hollywood.

Some might have heard Butler’s name in “Who’s the next James Bond?” debacle that has been going around ever since Pierce Brosnan announced that he will play the secret agent no more – now that Daniel Craig, a British actor, was recently chosen to be the new “Bond.”

Personally, I am thankful that Butler (or known to his fans as “Gerry”) was left out of the Bond game.

Just last year, he shot to fame starring as The Phantom in the film version of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s The Phantom of the Opera. Before that, Butler was relatively unknown, doing supporting roles in movies like Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life and acting in a film adaptation of Michael Crichton’s sci-fi novel Timeline. Taking on another leading role like agent 007 will only bring Butler towards what I dub the “Hollywood Syndrome” – too much money, too much ego and too many paparazzis to bother with.

What makes Butler so endearing to the public is his genuineness. At six feet two inches, Butler is quite the looker but not in the traditional Hollywood sense. He usually looks disheveled and scruffy in his public appearance pictures but that is his allure – the absence of any pretense.

That is also true of Butler’s acting. His roles in Wes Craven’s Dracula 2000 and The Phantom of the Opera have a powerful raw edge that reels in the audience immediately. Butler’s Phantom role had more people noticing him – by the critics who flakked his singing abilities as well as new fans who were mesmerized by his captivating performance as the tortured soul.

Recently, Butler has been taking up one movie role after another. In the Scottish film Dear Frankie – screening in selected cinemas in the U.S. this month – he plays the surrogate father to a deaf-mute boy, and the critics have given both the movie and Butler’s performance their seal of approval. In this film, the audience will see a softer side to Butler’s acting, in contrast to his usual rough-and-tough leading roles, such as Beowulf, in the upcoming film Beowulf and Grendel, adapted from the Anglo-Saxon epic poem.

Butler makes wise choices in his film roles. Alternating between independent projects and mega-budget Hollywood films has earned him credibility and respect. The diversity of the roles that Butler chooses also means that he is nearly unrecognizable in every film that he has appeared in. I attribute that to the man’s talents, and not the makeup and costume department.

This lawyer-turned-actor has also inspired many people... as a law graduate from the University of Glasgow, Butler set out on his pursuit for acting in his late 20s, after being fired from the law firm that he was working at. Fans now look up to him for his passion in the craft that he truly loves.

Butler is slated to be seen alongside Julia Stiles in Burns, a film that looks into the life and works of the Scottish poet Robert Burns. Filming is tentatively set to commence this summer.

I can’t wait.


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