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World Fame Around the Corner

Category: Interviews
Article Date: October 9, 2004 | Publication: Ingibjörg Rósa Björnsdóttir and María Erla Pálsdóttir | Author: Fréttablaðið

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Gerry Butler’s last movie was the Phantom of the Opera that’s predicted to be one of next winter’s most popular movies.

We have waited almost all evening in Hotel Höfðabrekka for the man in the leading role to come “home” after a few days off from filming. The clock is ticking but we are not moving, we are not going to miss Beowulf himself now that we are here. At thirty past ten he rushes in, and we barely have time to introduce ourselves before he takes out a video camera and asks us to watch something on the screen. We lean against his cheeks and exitedly watch Gerard Butler’s Home Video, i.e. him and some other actors almost killing themselves at the geyser Strokkur. The rogues had obviously just had to go right up to the edge and were sent running away in horror when the spring suddenly gushed. The screams and noises in the video don’t indicate brave heroes on the move there. The f-word mixed with hysteric laughter echoes from the pictures on the screen and in close-up you can see wonder and admiration in Beowulf’s deepblue eyes, he is clearly very taken with Icelandic natural wonders. Nobody laughs more heartily than he himself of his own foolhardiness and tomfoolery and he admits that he has just been completely hypnotized by these hot springs. When the show is over he states how old and experienced he has become at age 34.

“Five years ago I would have stuck my feet in but but today I’m much more calm and mature.” All three of us look at the video camera and explode with laughter, then Gerry grabs the camera again and we watch the hilarious scene once more while he shouts between the bursts of laughter: “How cool was that?”

Ingvar Incredible

We have followed filming all day in fine weather – which has been a rare thing lately – and seen various fantastic things happen among all these talented people. What is Gerry’s oppinion of what has been filmed so far?
“I’ll tell you something. I saw Ingvar do something incredible with his acting the other day; in four seconds he touched me so I cried. I grabbed hold of Sturla and was amazed, terribly strong! And then Stellan is here, I have such a high oppinion of that man and I respect him enormously as an actor. Therefore I was terribly exited to be making a film with him. Hadn’t met him before but saw him last in King Arthur and was completely fascinated. Then he’s suddenly arrived and is fun, we connected immediately and it’s good to work with him which is very lucky, because Beowulf has a special relationship with King Hrothgar.”

As great fans, we have seen Gerry in films like Tomb Raider 2, Reign of Fire, Dracula and in the television series Attila, that ran on Sjónvarpið last year. With Beowulf it appears that he is going to continue to stick to epic films.

“Yes I have done a few of those but was then going to try to avoid that kind of movies. And actually I don’t think this movie is like the others at all, they didn’t have Beowulf’s depth and originality. The manuscript is one of the most unusual but beautiful that I have read. If I have to be honest, I don’t think Beowulf and Grendel will be for everyone. No doubt it will be a favorite to many with this taste and to those who understand it will without doubt be very strong and not just the next Hollywood movie.”

Was Last Working With Andrew Lloyd Webber and Joel Schumacher

Butler’s last project was Phantom of the Opera in which he plays the Opera ghost itself and he is already being praised for his performance, in spite of the fact that the movie doesn’t open until christmas.
“Until two weekends ago noone had seen the the film, I saw it myself then. Then five magazine editors got to see it, among them the editor of the New York Times, who wrote a positive review of the film. I personally liked the movie very much, except having to listen to myself singing! I need to see it again a couple of times and relax so I can stop concentrating on following my own singing, but this is one of the most unusual films I have seen, just magnificent! Joel Schumacher is incredibly professional and had everything well under control. He was also prepared to hand over the reins to Andrew Lloyd Webber when it came to the music.”

We also have to get his oppinion of Iceland and and the things he’s seen here. Ask the classic question: How do you like Iceland? Hope for the praise that we love to hear from foreigners - and we certainly get what we’re hoping for:

“I love being here, and I’m not just saying that to you, I love Reykjavík and the whole country! Also Icelanders are great, smart, carefree, and with a sense of humour, and the women are so beautiful, with a strong character, cool – no less than the guys.”
We can’t resist temptation and act out a Thule commercial for him, the one that tells of the origins of Icelandic women, and we ask him whether he is angry that the vikings stole all the beautiful women from his homecountry; the answer comes immediately, without him having to think about it: “I’ll just steal them back!”


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