On his new acting career: "(During) some of the most miserable periods of my life, people thought I was very happy. And now that I`m actually happier, I don`t have to show it. I`m more comfortable with myself."
In Scotland I`m just like a lot of other guys, but in America I`m seen as a very strong, masculine guy.
You`ve got to move on and it`s a shame because there`s a part of you that thinks, `I was so attached to that movie and it`s success and what it meant to me.` There`s a part of you that wants to pull that off again. I heard some back room chatter about another 300 movie. I don`t know if it would be a sequel or a prequel but I haven`t read anything. I can`t see it myself, the idea in general. I`m not sure which way they would go with that. When Russell Crowe did Gladiator he didn`t come back and do another one. Like mine, his character died.
The chance to be both artistically appreciated and commercially appreciated... That`s what you hope for.
I was getting to bed about 10 P.M. so wound up and not getting to sleep by 11, and because I was putting the prosthetics on for five hours, I had to be up at 3 in the morning.
I sang in a rock band when I was training as a lawyer. You know, not professional, we just did it for fun. We just did gigs all over Edinburgh and some in Glasgow and some at festivals.
There was certainly a beautiful buzz going on last year, and now it feels like, as you say, we`re having to kind of get that momentum going again.
I started singing for The Phantom in January, and we started filming in October and I sang all the way through to the next June. In fact, I was singing for about two months before I even knew I had the role.
Angelina had wanted a stronger male character to play opposite her, and I think one of the other advantages in that was a sense of competition.
Angelina came up, and as soon as we said hello, I thought, This is going to be great. I`m really going to love doing this with her. And I did. And then I was very excited to do the movie after that.
I had to get used to wearing a mask and wearing a prosthetic and performing with those things while singing and expressing myself through stylized movement, while keeping it as human as possible so the audience could be closer to the horror of the Phantom.
As long as you do the best work that you can and not make it bland... because you`re going down a lane that is trying to make everybody happy. You have to take an angle on these things.
I had to prove myself to a lot of different people.
Funnily enough, when I originally went in for my screen test, that set was already built.
Generally I don`t like doing remakes, but I think that`s more in the cynical world of Hollywood where normally remakes are purely for commercial reasons.
I went from somebody who didn`t sing to somebody who didn`t speak.
The Phantom, as well as being backed up by that music, it just so was a role that I identified with so powerfully. From the first second that I walked on to perform.
I mean, I made The Phantom, although The Phantom was, believe it or not, an independent film. It was just a very large, expensive independent film.
I had to go and sing with the musical director of the film, Simon Lee, who is just incredible, and it went great. I sang with him about five things, things we`d worked on. And then I went to sing for Andrew Lloyd Weber.
I love doing the stunts. It`s as simple as that.
I spent many years not knowing where my dad was... Not knowing if my dad was alive, even. He turned up when I was 16 out of the blue.
I was training to be a lawyer... I was president of the law society at Glasgow University, and my bass guitarist was my secretary of my law society; the lead guitarist and writer worked at the law firm that I worked.
I always find stuff in my characters to relate to.
My manager and my agents, they go over my contracts.
Choosing the right mask helps you... We went through many masks. It was very particular leather that as soon as you smudged it, you had to get a new one. We went through about 55 masks.
I felt like retiring after The Phantom.
I was amazed and upset by the looks I got just walking around the studio... It illuminates the ugliness and the beauty that exists within each of us, and that`s what this story represents to me.
By that point, I had started taking singing lessons. And after the first session, I mean, I was surprised that the windows didn`t shatter. And after the third session, I really didn`t know where this voice had come from.
I knew I`d just done one of the most amazing things that I will ever get a chance to do. Just to be part of a musical that`s not your background and to pull it off and to think that we`ve done something that`s really special.
Guy Ritchie: “Thank you very much. I won’t say much more because Gerry Butler is the eloquent one among us. But thank you very much for this.”
Butler: “This was supposed to be Guy speaking but as usual he dumped it on me. Listen, I want to thank Guy who really wrote all the words and directed all the stuff and did a great job and it’s about time he got SOMETHING right...”
Ritchie: (chases Butler away from the mike)”That’s quite enough out of you Gerry.”
Mark Strong: “It’s great that people who know about movies and love movies decided to vote this Best British Film; thank you very much.”
"If I take a dog for a walk, apparently I`m f—king my dog!"
"You know that every bead of sweat falling off your head, every weight you`ve pumped -- the history of that is all in your eyes," says Butler of his dedication. "That was a great thing, to put on that cape and put on that helmet, and not have to think, sh*t, I should have trained more. Instead, I was standing there feeling like a lion."
“I thought, ‘Oh s**t. Here we go again!’ (laughing) This script was so inventive and had a real mystery, it was very poetic. In fact, some of it I found quite funny because when you describe, ‘a falling v*rgin lets the dying gasps of a soul out as he hits the ground,’ you think, ‘How can he possibly show that?’ And in some ways there is a suggestion as to the type of world and feel that you are coming into. It felt very classy and very dark and very difficult. I just thought, ‘This guy is fierce, this guy is ferocious. This guy is awesome and I want to try and be that guy.’”
“Listen, I’d rather... I’ll be honest, I don’t get too caught up in that. I’m really far more about, ‘Is the film good? Did I perform okay? Did people dig it?’ And if people want to go further than that, of course, that’s a huge compliment. I would rather that then they say, ‘He’s an ugly son of a b*tch. That Gerry Butler has no sex appeal whatsoever.’ It’s good to be appreciated. I’d rather be appreciated for talent than just looks, but hey, I’ll take that as well.”
“I love the music in this film. I think it’s a great job and this is exactly the type of movie, the music I hoped for. At times it’s very operatic and it also contains an element of mysticism of another type, and then its absolute rock as well. That’s really what sets it apart. It says, ‘We’re not taking this too seriously, but at the end of the day this is also a very entertaining story told in an action packed way.’ If you can be moved or inspired or just feel something about these people and what they went through and what they stood for, then that’s awesome too.”
“I had my whole body shaved. We started waxing - and I had a lot of respect for women after that - but I left for the girls (the eyebrows), because it just hurt so much that the next day I asked for a razor and shaved my whole body. But here we actually tried some prosthetics on first — tried to change my forehead or something like that. And then Zack (Snyder) just said, ‘No, no, no, I just want Rodrigo the way he is.’ The eyebrows were actually the makeup artist`s idea, just to cover with prosthetics. There was no need to, really. ‘Oh, after all my body, I`m going to be scared of this? No.’”
"I was like, why my groin? I met a group of French-Canadian girls while we were filming and they said it was called `manscaping` and that everyone did it now.” Butler says he’s more a “Braveheart-type of guy."
“I do love to have a good time. So do you Aussies. I’m Scottish and we are very similar. We are down to earth. We like to take the p*ss and we love to party.”
“No, seriously. I’m so proud. I worked really hard on the movie. I loved being a part of it — and the reaction to the film has just blown me away.”
"I think I`m a man out of place. I love Scotland. You can stand amidst those mountains and fell the history. It emanates all around you. When I`m there, I fantasize about the Celts coming over from Europe in bearskins. And the simplicity and purity of society back then--it wasn`t as complicated or discolored as it is now. I imagine roaming those hills, fighting those battles..."
I am for equal opportunities. Why should it be the guy`s job to kiss? "If a woman wants to kiss she should totally do that. I think it is awesome when women take the lead. I love that idea."
"No matter what you have to go through and what you suffer, when you have true love, you can put up with anything."
"I think it`s one of the nicest privileges as an actor is to know that you can move people in one moment, make them think about their lives, or make them laugh or make them cry or make them understand something. Or just make them feel something because I think so many of us, including myself, spend too much time not feeling enough, you know?"
"I was never into law. Even now, I never read contracts. I just sign them."
"I was pretending to be this lawyer in a very traditional Edinburgh firm, but I felt like a little Glasgow boy who was totally at sea and could barely scramble a meal, let alone deal with clients and do complicated legal work."
"In actual fact Game wasn’t an obvious choice for me. There were bigger budgeted and more obvious films that I could’ve done, but I felt these guys have an incredible imagination and a freshness and an edge and a risk-taking about them."
"It’s only recently that I’ve started to think that everything I am, good and bad, is what makes me. Instead of fighting all the bad and just being so unhappy. That’s just me, that’s just the way I am. I am not saying I’m going to try to improve but there is a level of acceptance. I’m doing well and I’m doing well because of who I am."
"Kable is like a classic silent hero, there`s a beauty to that, and it also means I don`t have to learn so many lines. I`ve been crossing them out! They said that about Steve McQueen and they`ll say that about Gerry Butler" He unleashes an infectious giggle. "He only had three and he took two away!"
"If I`d done Crank, maybe I wouldn`t have ended up doing this movie. To me, this is layered. It`s showing how society allows real violence into our lives. And Mark and Brian are so naturally talented. They`re guys who understand testosterone and masculinity, and they`re just going for it."
"I wouldn`t say it`s been that tough, but it`s enough to make me seriously consider retiring. It`s the intensity of it. I did a ten-man fight sequence recently, and we did the whole thing over a hundred times. Kable`s a warrior, but he`s not fancy and he`s using full force and brutality to kill ten guys. And in the middle of that fight I`m getting smashed, I`m falling all over the place, I`m pounding guys. And, I had to do it time and time again. That`s where, in some ways I blossom, because when my backs up against the wall, that`s when I really turn it on. It`s that 300 mentality."