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 Ralph Fiennes, Gerard Butler talk Shakespeare and exhaustion

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PostSubject: Ralph Fiennes, Gerard Butler talk Shakespeare and exhaustion   Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:30 am

Ralph Fiennes, Gerard Butler talk Shakespeare and exhaustion
Toronto International Film Festival, Sept. 12, 2011

Gerard Butler, as vigorous and virile a performer as you're likely to find anywhere, looked bone tired today.

The Scotsman who Ralph Fiennes had just clapped on the shoulder and called a warrior was, in fact, a man promoting not one but two big movies at the Toronto International Film Festival which meant nearly non-stop interviews, photo sessions, red carpets, parties and press conferences like the one for "Coriolanus."

He's pulling double duty and had been at the gala screening of "Machine Gun Preacher" not even 12 hours earlier. In that movie he plays a drug addict and biker from outside Johnstown, Somerset County, who ends up becoming a preacher and building an orphanage in Africa in the midst of civil war.

"I woke up this morning and I have never felt so exhausted in my life," Mr. Butler said. "I literally thought, if I could die now, if somebody could just let me die, then I would take that option. I guess it's just been days and days of press for 'Machine Gun' and now 'Coriolanus.' "

It's a good place to be but a tiring one and that seemed evident on the face that launched a thousand digital flashes from women of all ages near the red carpet last night.

Today, he was seated on a panel with director-star Fiennes and fellow actors Jessica Chastain from "The Help" and Brian Cox.

They're starring in Shakespeare's tale of a feared and revered military commander who courts tragedy when he enters the political arena. But before any students plan to skip the reading and see the movie, they should know the story has been updated from ancient Rome to contemporary Europe.

Fiennes makes his directing debut – and he left Mr. Cox "gob smacked" – and is old school when it comes to the Bard.

He was asked if he buys into the historical thriller and fest entry "Anonymous" suggesting Shakespeare did not pen the works credited to him.

"I think it's a bit of a dead end of a discussion in the end, because I don't know that any of our reactions to the plays should be any different because it might have been written by someone else. I don't know the reasoning and I haven't followed the arguments behind why it should not be William Shakespeare from Stratford on Avon," Fiennes said.

"I believe it is. I believe it was this young man from Warwickshire who was extraordinarily gifted and wrote these plays but in the end, the plays stand alone and we experience them as live pieces of drama that work."

Chastain and doppelganger Bryce Dallas Howard are both here although no one will mistake them for each other since the former is not pregnant and the latter is, very. Howard is in the movie "50/50."

As for Chastain, it does seem like she's everywhere.

"This has been such a very strange year for me. It was a bit of a joke in my life called the Chastain curse where I made 11 films in four and a half years and for some reason they would be stalled or companies would be sold and it was a bit of a comedy.

"And then to have just the flip side of it where they all now come out within six months of each other, it's really feast or famine in this business, and this whole press aspect of the business has been baptism by fire for me."

Photo above: Ralph Fiennes and Gerard Butler, also below with Jessica Chastain and Brian Cox. Photos by Barbara Vancheri, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

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