Gamer Interview - Gerry talks about his butt tattoos
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|Subject: Gamer Interview - Gerry talks about his butt tattoos Sat Feb 20, 2010 4:14 am|| |
Gerard Butler – Part I
Gerard Butler (left) with co-star Michael C. Hall in Gamer
It’s a hot and sticky August day in Manhattan and hurricane Bill is threatening heavy showers. Gerard Butler must be grateful he’s not outdoors filming The Bounty, his upcoming movie with Jennifer Aniston. Instead, he’s spending his Saturday talking about his latest movie, Gamer, directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, the duo’s third feature film after Crank and Crank 2. Butler, who was revealed to the masses in Zack Snyder’s 300 as the six-packed Leonidas, is just as physically imposing, but the impish look in his eyes give way to a boyish quality. The Glaswegian, who once trained to be a lawyer, is Hollywood’s hottest ticket right now, with several movies coming out during the next few months. Unstoppable, ambitious and a very funny Scotsman.
What initially attracted you to Gamer?
I knew the boys, Mark and Brian. I’d read Crank and had been really interested in that. And then I read this and I thought it was a natural progression for them to move into something a little more kind of grown up and dramatic. And I just thought it was a great concept and a great excuse for a lot of epic, kick-ass action and at the same time, leaning into a world that was more dubious and that can really make you think about the future and where we’re headed, especially in terms of gaming and technology.
Did you meet with actual gamers?
I did, yeah. I spent time with a bunch of gamers. On a few occasions, I even sat through the night a couple of times watching them play, especially Halo, Call of Duty and World of Warcraft. They play this game and they’ve been on this game for weeks, and they’ll be playing people all around the world and emailing them while playing the game and talking to me and talking amongst themselves. It made no sense on how many different levels their brain was working. It was crazy.
What kind of kids were they? Were they similar to the fat social outcast like in the movie?
They were normal kids. In fact, very bright. Some of the kids I spent time with were the producer’s son and his friends, and they were all very smart – they’re actually doing very well at school – but they just had a complete addiction to video games. Even though the producer David Scott Rubin had said, “Come and watch my son,” I could tell it was a real point of contention between him and his kids as to just how much time they spent playing video games. I guess when I was younger, I was addicted to playing soccer. We went out and played all the time. It’s the same.
Did you play video games?
I did. In fact, I was addicted to video games as well. In those days, you didn’t really have video games in your own house so you had to go to the arcade and play that. In fact, now in my house in L.A., I have an old video arcade. I have like 60 games on it. But I don’t spend a lot of time [on it]. It’s more for when there are people around. But that’s what I have more attachment to – Asteroids, Space Invaders.
Pac Man – I have that! Defender. I have a lot of great games.
You said the film leans towards a more dubious world. Is it indicative of the type of entertainment being thrown at people today?
I think it’s an extreme example. I think reality TV is getting more and more debased all the time and more and more risqué and more and more dangerous. I remember in Britain there was a game show and it became riskier and riskier until somebody died – one of the competitors died in one of the stunts. I think that kind of thing happens more and more in terms of where we’re willing to go, in terms of our self-respect, in terms of watching other people lose their self-respect. I turned on the TV last night and it was Divorce Court and it was watching two people bitch at each other and go through all the dirty laundry and all the personal information and it was awful. I couldn’t believe that this is actually what’s on TV. And you see it in reality TV shows. It’s more and more about the darker side of people’s lives. It’s not what’s nicest that’s going on. It’s “let’s watch who’s going to have an affair with each other,” “let’s watch how people struggle,” and “let’s watch how people fall apart.” And I guess they’re only making them if people are watching. I still don’t quite understand why people spend so much time watching them. I really, truly don’t get it because it holds no interest to me. I’ve never been fascinated in any way. But there’s always space for good films!
How did you train for the part? You move like a video game character.
Yeah, it took a bit of work. We trained with Special Forces guys, special ops. It’s like with everything: It’s the difference getting pretty proficient with something, which often you can do; it doesn’t take ten years. But it’s going from that to becoming really, really pretty good, very convincing, and it’s the small things that you then have to start working on, that often take a lot of time – smaller details. And that’s what I found. It was the sense of balance, the complete lack of movement in the rest of your body as you traveled. It made it look almost like you were on a trolley on the ground just moving along. And the way you spin your body is you turn into something if you’re doing search and entry. It was all of those things and I spent a lot of time just painstakingly learning the foot movements and the body movements and where to move the arms and the hands to really get that idea that 1) Kable, my character, was special forces and 2) that he was being controlled in this game, exaggerate it a little bit.
What was it like working with two directors instead of one? Did you have twice as many people yelling at you?
(Laughs) No, they’re both very easygoing. I was surprised how much in agreement they were and yet they’re two completely different characters. But they’re both, at the end of the day, very smart but completely wild and crazy and risk-takers. They’re the kind of guys I hang out with. I hung out with them before I did this movie; we were friends and I’d been out with them a bunch of times. So the experience of making this was really a joy. They were right amongst it. They were in the thick of the action with me. They both love to be in the middle of the explosions, and then Mark gets his rollerblades on and will literally hang off the back of your bike or the truck that you’re doing your stunts in. He’s a big adrenaline junkie.
They told me to ask you about the tattoos on your derriere…
There were a lot of people getting [fake] tattoos ‘cause we’re playing convicts – a lot of the convicts had tattoos. There were whole boards of tattoos that the make-up artist had, and there were a bunch of tattoos that were people’s heads and faces. And one of them was the double of Brian Taylor: a bald guy with a strong face. Really, it was uncanny the resemblance! I then hunted down another one that looked like Mark. I had one tattooed to my right cheek and one tattooed to my left cheek and I had them paint in Neveldine-Taylor under both of their heads. And then we went and were literally rehearsing. I said, “Explain this to me and explain that to me.” As we’re talking, I turn away and I go, “So is it like this?” And I pulled down my pants. (Cracks up laughing) It’s very childish.
You don’t have them anymore?
No! You can see my ass but there’s no tattoos there!
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|Subject: Re: Gamer Interview - Gerry talks about his butt tattoos Sat Feb 20, 2010 7:37 pm|| |
Part II of my interview with Gerard Butler, who displays both his serious side and his impish humor.
Just to clarify one thing, he wasn’t actually flirting; that’s just his sense of humor and should be taken on the lightest note. He answered the questions about the movies in a professional manner and that’s all that was published in the newspaper where I work. The rest is just fun(ny).
Gerard Butler – Part II
You’re a very versatile actor and I assume you’ve come to a point where you have more choice…
I definitely have a lot more choice now. It feels like it’s much easier to go in the direction that I want, especially since I kind of broke the back of comedies. I think people thought, If he can do action and he can do comedies, then he also can do most things in between. And then I have a thriller coming out (“Law Abiding Citizen”) that I’m pretty proud of where I play the antagonist, which was a chance for me to climb into something, again, completely different. But I choose my roles on the basis on what challenges me and where I feel like going at that particular time. There’s a general career plan, but more than anything it’s just to keep making good movies both large and small, funny and sad and thought-provoking and exciting, and anything that it can offer me that I think I want to do – interesting characters, interesting plots and climb into completely different worlds and universes and keep it exciting for myself and hopefully fans.
You co-produced “Law Abiding Citizen”. Are you interested in producing more films?
Yeah. That was a lot of work. There were definitely times when I regretted having taken it on. It was very, very stressful, but it was also an incredible experience and it made the end product all the more satisfying. I’m really proud of what we’ve done. And to have been involved in the developing from day one – I actually met the writer at an awards ceremony. He came over and we got talking and he said, “I have some stuff.” And I said, “Send us your script,” and we took it from there and took it to finance companies and got a director, writers, the actors. Really, it’s the first time that I’ve seen anything from that stage and to see it all finished and then to sit in an audience and watch them gasp and laugh and pull back and come out spent…
Was it a learning process?
Oh, it was a huge learning process! And now that I’ve had a bit of breathing space, I would like to do it again and definitely learn to go a better way about it.
Are you interested in directing one day?
One day. But I think I have enough trouble with the acting and if I take on the producing as well. But I think it’s a lot easier to say you can direct than to actually direct. I have a lot of respect for what directors have to do and how much work it takes.
Could you tell me about “How To Train Your Dragon”?
It’s a huge DreamWorks animated movie about Vikings and dragons and I play the chief Viking in the village. It has Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, America Ferrera, Craig Ferguson. It’s a great cast.
I noticed in “Gamer” that you neither sing nor dance nor even die!
Well spotted! Like I say, I like to defy convention and change it up every once in a while. But it’s true: It became a joke that I would pretty much die in everything. But then again, I look back now at my last few movies. I didn’t die in “Nim’s Island” – almost did. Didn’t die in “RocknRolla” – I almost did. What else? Didn’t die in “Ugly Truth”. So now I’m getting in the habit of not dying in things. It kind of feels weird. I almost prefer dying. It’s a crowd-pleaser, a crowd-shocker. Ah, the poor thing, he died! I know! And then get out of there. Keep them wanting more instead of getting sick at the sight of you.
How’s the filming going for “The Bounty Hunter”?
It’s going great. I’m really excited about this movie. I think that we’re making a classic comedy.
You recently said on TV that you were marrying your co-star Jennifer Aniston, Cameron Diaz and Joan Rivers. How’s that going for you?
I’m busy! I’m busy trying to do movies and trying to do press and then trying to stay married to three women at the same time! So I’m kind of exhausted at the moment.
Poor thing! I’m sure there are millions of women who’d like to be the fourth one.
Yeah, and the fifth and the sixth. The second I get my breath back from this movie, I would say in a few months I’ll have about ten wives. (Laughs) No, just finding one would be nice.
Are you looking?
I wouldn’t say I’m looking for a wife but, yeah, it would be nice to get into a more serious relationship.
Is it because you’re turning 40 and everybody’s telling you need to settle down?
No. I mean, I would love to be [married], but it’s not something that‘s eating away at me in a huge way because I love what I’m doing right now and I love my life. But there’s definitely times when you think, Oh it would be good to have a more serious partner.
I think a lot of people who make comments like that are usually stuck in some domestic nightmare and they try to make themselves feel better by making you feel bad.
You know what? It’s true. And one of the reasons that I don’t feel the need necessarily to dive into something is that most people of my age who have been in a relationship for a while are not necessarily happy. So it’s not always great examples for you out there.
I was watching some of the interviews you did for “The Ugly Truth”. Everyone kept asking you for relationship advice!
Yeah. You did your research, huh? I guess it’s a movie about relationships and sex, and I am considered as the ultimate voice on that. But it’s true: When people try to make it personal and suddenly expect you to be a sex therapist like…
Dr. Ruth exactly! I’m like, give me a break! I’m single, what are you asking me for on how to conduct a relationship! (Laughs)
Are you like your character Mike?
Mike Chadway? (Laughs) No, I’m not like Mike. But I think every guy is in a way. Yeah, I’m as much like Mike as every other guy is. I think we all have that sense that we’re attracted to the superficial side of sex at times and that we are visually stimulated and that we do like flirting. The first thing on our minds when we see a girl is not always love and marriage and children. And by the way, it’s the same for women as well!
I know, women can be very crass too.
Oh, absolutely, especially nowadays with the more career-oriented women. There’s a lot of women out there who are like, “You know what honey? I’m not looking for love either. Let’s just have some fun. Let’s enjoy the more physical sensations and shorter emotional attachments.” It’s just, I guess, a result of the ways we all live our lives nowadays. But what’s cool about the movie is that at the end of the day is that love is important and that, despite our differences, we are essentially the same. We are all looking for something deeper and that the very attributes that Mike talks about are not what he necessarily what he believes in. They’re not what actually get you the girl. There’s some richer, more profound than that.
But it is true that men think with something other than their brain.
With their dicks. Definitely. I think at the end of the day, we all do to a certain extent. It’s all about sex.
I admit I’ve had unprofessional thoughts about a couple of people I’ve interviewed.
Are you having them now?
No. If I do, I’ll tell you at the end of the interview!
What must be it be like to be you adulated by all these women? Do you think that maybe you’re single because it’s just too easy for you?
Well, it’s interesting that I’ve found relationships a little harder with the advent of my success. Whether that’s because it’s easier or it’s too easy or just suddenly because you’re more under scrutiny or because you’re busier, I don’t know. It’s perhaps a bit of everything.
Do you think there’s too much focus on your private life and that it takes something away from your image as an actor?
There’s no doubt that it does. Some people say that it helps you, but I don’t quite see that. I don’t think that people see you in the press and then it’s going necessarily make them judge you in a harsh way. It’s just annoying that we can’t deal with truths. Yeah, if I were having a relationship with Jen, we would say it, or I would say it, or she would say it. It’s just that people like to make shit up based on nothing or very little. The more that goes on and the more there are rumors about different people, then people start to form opinions of you based on something that isn’t true. I’d rather be judged on my work is what I’m saying. I’d rather people knew me for my work than for stories that some asshole in Des Moines is sitting making up on her computer knowing that it will picked and go around the world. It’s as easy as that.
What’s your ideal type of woman? What are you looking for? Let’s matchmake you.
I don’t know. OK. What attracts you to a woman. I know the initial attraction is physical… I love a woman who is… you know what? The reason I don’t know is because there’s various things. For instance, I might like a movie because it is terrifying, but then I might want to see another movie because it is sweet and innocent and naive. So it’s the same with a woman. I don’t know because there’s various things that I like that are the exact opposite of each other. I might like one woman because she’s sweet and innocent and unassuming, and I might like another because she’s spunky and free-spirited and dangerous and fiery. They’re often completely different. But I think at the end of the day, they have to be interesting. And beautiful. Actually, beautiful maybe, but more sexy I think rather than beautiful, because it’s the chemistry thing that’s more important. I always remember the old adage: “Show me the most beautiful woman in the world and I’ll show you a guy who’s tired of f*cking her.” (Laughs) In a way, it’s a horrible thing to say, but what I take from that is that it isn’t all just about beauty. It’s about something more substantial than that.
See, Mike would never say that.
Exactly! I’m more evolved than Mike Chadway.
What’s your physical type?
I don’t know if this is about the question or about you flirting.
No, not at all. I’m a journalist. I’m forbidden territory.
(Leans in and whispers) I don’t think you are.
You don’t have to answer if you don’t want to.
It’s just that I don’t think I have a type.
Do you think women like bad boys, like Mike?
I think some women do. I see them around all the time. I see bad boys whether socially or in this business or just in life generally. The fact is that a lot of women are often flocking all around them because they’re often the most charismatic and the most fun and exciting. The difference between bad boy, as in impish or roguish or cheeky or maybe outrageous and someone who is bad in a violent way or an abusive way, then we’re getting into something else; But I think that, without a doubt, there’s another old adage: “There’s nothing like a badass to make a girl’s heart beat faster.” And that’s something I’ve definitely found to be true! It’s funny because it’s been times when I am very quiet… I am a very bad boy, but in times when I’ve noticed that I’m not and I’m in my sweeter nature and I’m out in a bar or a club and I see bad boys all over, the women will walk right past me hurrying to the bad boy! (Laughs) I actually want to say I respect guys, in a way, who can be like Mike in terms of they have their opinions. Whether they’re right or wrong, if they have those opinions but they don’t apologize for them, I see that women find that attractive. When I see guys who go, “You know what? Yeah, I’m like this and I’m like that” and not try and cover themselves, I love that and I respect that, and I often see women are often attracted to that.
Yeah, we don’t like liars.
Yeah, exactly! So even if they’re telling the truth going, “You know what darling? You’re coming at the wrong man here, stay away,” they’ll (women) be like, “No, no, no!”
Small-time crook One Two (Butler) and Mumbles (Idris Elba) in Guy Ritchie's "RocknRolla". (Warner Bros.)
OK, getting back to movies, is there going to be a “RocknRolla 2″?
Um, probably not. I know there’s one written so we’ll see what happens. I love that movie. I had so much fun doing that movie. I can appreciate a comedy that I do, but I don’t normally laugh at my own stuff but in “RocknRolla”, I laugh at my own stuff. It’s funny situations and scenarios. I can watch again and again. When they make me steal that car with Idris Elba and forgetting the keys and not being able to get it into gear – (Laughs) it’s because I am a big kid basically. The stupidity of that – I love! I just so get Guy Ritchie! (Laughs)
You wanted to be a rocknrolla once right?
I was in a rock back but I was training as a lawyer. It was one of those things where we thought, Hey, listen, if somebody wants to come along and say, “Oh my God, you guys are amazing!” But we were more doing it for fun. Before that, it was with my friend Tommy Stewart at school. The two of us thought we were going to be the next Wham! And he still calls me up sometimes. He was so good-looking, Tommy. He was like the best looking boy in school, always playing with his hair. He still calls me every now and again going, “I still think we could do it!” (Laughs)
That would be a fun skit to do.
Yeah, that would be a fun skit!
Do you think what you’re life would have been like had you pursued a career in law?
I don’t think I would still be here. I And I don’t mean that… It’s just me and law. I was living kind of a crazy life then and I think if I’d stayed in that, then I would not have sorted myself out.
Does having a background in law help you in business deals?
Just in business deals. It definitely helps me in negotiating – it’s helped me in the producing. But it’s also helps me in the disciplining of the mind and the way it teaches you to think because there’s a lot to be said in how you approach a role and how you break down a script and how you approach a scene where a certain clarity and a discipline of thought will help you. I’ve often found that way of thinking come in when I’m approaching roles.
Brian and Mark told me that you’re a perfectionist.
(Laughs) Definitely! I think I drive them crazy with it sometimes. Are you self-critical? Very. What every director would say when working with me is “Stop being so hard on yourself. Let it go.” I’m always thinking I can do better. I’m getting a little better at it though, a little easier for me to move in and say “That’s good.” But I’m always pushing myself and everybody else around me to do better work, to do as well as possible.
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