Lesson learned: Don't mess with King Leonidas
We felt a bit like the Persian dude in 300 who gets the lethal kick in the chest after Gerard Butler expressed his dissatisfaction of how one of his films was characterized in a Toronto festival preview last week.
Before he and Machine Gun Preacher co-star Michelle Monahagn had a chance to take a sip of their lattes, Butler started in.
"You know that Law Abiding Citizen was seen as a big success," railed Butler, who was also a producer on the movie. "It made a pile of money. And I'm the only actor you mentioned in that article that you said anything negative about. You are supposed to be my biggest fan, and then it was 'Gerry, who messed up these two movies.'" (The other being The Bounty Hunter).
It's true that Citizen, a 2009 release about vigilante-style justice that grossed $73.4 million domestically, did not quite qualify as a "disappointment" as it was labeled, even though it got mostly negative reviews and took in only $127 million worldwide. But compared to Butler's two films at the festival -- besides his dedicated work in Preacher, he acquits himself nicely doing Shakespeare opposite Ralph Fiennes in Coriolanus this fall -- it is not quite in the same league.
That said, he and movie wife Monahagn proceeded to give a thoughtful interview about the tough issues dealt with in Preacher, about a real-life ex-con who finds God and decides to help the suffering children of the Sudan.
But the topic came up again as Butler was saying his goodbyes. "Go on Netflix and Law Abiding Citizen scores higher than Citizen Kane, which a lot of people vote as the best movie of all time." Considering that no one under 30 has probably heard of Orson Welles, that very well could be the case.
So how can we make this up to you, Gerry? " Just say something that's not true in a positive way. "