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Gerard Butler: I'm 'totally paranoid' after playing Secret Service agent
Playing a Secret Service agent in his film “Olympus Has Fallen” has left a lasting impression on Gerard Butler.
Now, when he sees President Obama on television, the 43-year-old star says he can’t look at him the same way: “I look around. I’m like, who’s standing next to him? Why’s he making that face? That’s odd behavior. Is that just a plastic cup he’s holding? What’s in that cup? Now I’m totally paranoid.”
In the new action flick, Butler takes a turn as a Secret Service agent tasked with saving a fictional president, played by Aaron Eckhart, from a North Korean terrorist cell holding the commander in chief hostage inside the White House.
While Butler chuckles about his new-found “paranoia,” he continues, “It’s a funny point but at the same it leads me to a bigger point. This movie is entertaining, it’s exciting, and it’s fun. ... But at the end of the day, it is a cautionary tale as well.”
Says the actor, “It’s a reality that we live in — in this world with the current situation and the global threat of terrorism, this is something that’s very much in our psyche and something that we’re vulnerable to.”
Butler says while in real life he’s “never had any ambitions” to enter the political world, he could see himself protecting the president: “To be a Secret Service agent, I think would be cool ... I love what they do on a daily basis for our country. I appreciate them more after making this movie and spending time with them.”
And the Scotland-born celeb wouldn’t exactly call himself a political junkie, likening his feeling towards politics to his thoughts on American sports. Butler grew up with soccer and rugby, and says while he’ll go to ice hockey and basketball games in the States, “it’s hard to change what’s in your blood.”
He says of politics, “I’m not a citizen. I pay attention, but it’s not something that I have massive fascination in.”
“Olympus Has Fallen” opens nationwide March 22.