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Star Gerard Butler enjoying Shreveport
Shreveport is once again a star lover's paradise with the current filming of the first Nu Image/Millennium Films "Playing The Field," a romantic comedy starring Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel, Uma Thurman, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Judy Greer and Dennis Quaid.
Butler plays a former professional soccer player who is now coaching his son's soccer team to try to win back the affections of his ex-wife, played by Biel, and son. Butler said he played soccer as a child in Scotland, which made him a natural for the role.
"I'm good enough to pretend I've been a soccer player," an animated Butler said with tongue in cheek.
Producer Heidi Jo Markel said Butler is a very versatile actor. That's why she said he is perfect for the movie.
"He can do action or comedy roles," Markel said. "I'd been trying to find a project we could do together."
While Butler, known for his warrior physique in "The 300," is in great shape for the movie, he said he's been every shape and size during his career.
While filming a soccer scene with some children at a park near Cross Lake, it's evident that he's on the correct end of the weight scale.
"Now, I'm very conscious of what I eat and I do a lot of cardio and weights," Butler said. He said he's enjoying his time in Shreveport where he does a lot of fishing and canoeing in between filming.
Kevin Misher, Jonathan Mostow and Alan Siegel brought the movie project to Markel, who took it to Millennium Films.
"I was really happy because I thought Millennium Studios did mostly action films," Markel said.
Besides Markel, the film also has producer John Thompson and others.
Its director, Gabriele Muccino, also directed "Pursuit of Happyness" and "Seven Pounds" with Will Smith. While filming the recent scene in Shreveport, Muccino revved up the actors.
Muccino also directed "The Last Kiss," his Italian romantic comedy that won the audience award at the Sundance Film Festival when it premiered in 2002.
Muccino is the first filmmaker to use the new Nu Image/Millennium Films' facility in Shreveport that officially opened its doors March 31. Construction on the 53,000-square-foot project started in December 2009, allowing the company to take advantage of state film tax credits. Millennium rents the property from Shreveport for $1,200 a year.
Filming entirely in Shreveport, "Playing the Field" started shooting April 4 and will wrap May 27. The release date for the movie in the United States has not yet been determined.