Gerard Butler interview on Burns and Julia Stiles

This article is from the About News Archive. Although the Gerard Butler interview is dated August 2005, the interview has been republished for reference purposes in relation to the upcoming movie Burns. The movie burns was initially shelved temporarily due to lack of funding. However, Gerard Butler recently confirmed in an interview that Burns is still a planned production.

This Gerard Butler interview on Burns took place on the red carpet at the Red Eye film Premiere in London Leicester Square. Gerard Butler talks about Burns and being cast opposite Julia Stiles who will play his love interest. Factors affecting the production of Burns were also mentioned. Who would have thought the delay would last for over half a decade?!

Gerard Butler also talked about Beowulf and Grendel, which has since been released at the movie theater and on DVD.

He revealed that he will be working on a major project which he could not reveal details at that time. The reporter’s immediate assumption was that he was given the role of James Bond in 007. It was later revealed that Gerard Butler had landed the epic role of King Leonidas in 300! The rest – is history!


Above: Gerard Butler interview on Burns at Leicester Square premiere

Scroll to the bottom of this page for the Video version of this Gerard Butler interview.

What’s happening with “Burns?”
“God knows. You know what? We are sitting with ‘Burns,’ we have an incredible cast, we have the best script I’ve read in a long time… It’s just wonderful. It’s just that it takes a bit to get that together because essentially it’s about an 18th Century poet, you know, a Scottish poet that we in Scotland think the whole world knows but they don’t. And it really has that kind of ‘Shakespeare in Love’ feel about it as well. It’s very funny and it’s very moving and… But it’s just gonna [happen], I think it’s gonna happen next year. That’s the plan.
…It just, you know, is one of these movies made up of a lot of different tax [elements]. It’s very complicated. I don’t even know how that goes but it should happen next year.”

There’s a rumour on the Internet that they’re reworking the script. Is that true?
“No, no. Well, yeah. I mean yeah, but not in any major way, you know? They are always putting kind of little touches to it. It’s just got better and better. You know, the first script I read was like a 170 pages long, which if anybody knows is a bit long for a script. It was one of the best reads I’ve ever had in my life. It broke my heart to take things out of there, but now we have it refined and it’s just, you know, all the best stuff is in there. And it’s really a beautiful story of an artist, an incredible artist, and a passionate and sexy human being – Grrrrr!”

Is it a little intimidating playing him because everyone in Scotland looks up to him?
“Yeah. I mean yeah, but it’s intimidating playing the Phantom of the Opera, it’s intimidating playing Dracula, Attila and it’s a matter of degree. It’s intimidating taking on these roles but I love that. I love a challenge, you know? So you kind of hope that at the end of the day people go, ‘Oh, wow, you know, he did do it.’

…You never have a movie that everybody loves or a character that you know, some people… And I think the more of an angle you take on it, the more intensely some people will love it and the more other people will dislike it. Rather than doing something watered down that you are trying to please everybody with. You know, so we are definitely taking…

[The crowd at the “Red Eye” premiere yells for Rachel McAdams as she appears on the red carpet]

…an angle on ‘Burns. My name is Rachel by the way, that’s me they are screaming at, yeah, yeah. [Turning to the crowd] I’ll be there in a minute!”

Is it going to be totally filmed in Scotland?
“Yes, yes. Absolutely. In my mother’s back garden!”

And what do you think casting Julia Stiles, who isn’t Scottish, in this role?
“Fantastic! It was me. I was in Iceland, I was filming and so was she, and I suddenly thought she’s – and we had this talk about Burns and I’d never even mentioned, I’d never even thought of her until afterwards – and then I went, she knew so much about Burns, she was so curious about him, she’s perfect for this role! I gave her the script. She called me up and she said, ‘This is the best script I’ve read in such a long time. I’ll do craft service on this movie.’

She’s been incredibly patient with us because the movie’s been pushed and pushed. She’s incredible, I love her, and she’s a wonderful human being and she’s such a talented actress so, to me that’s the best. She’s the best thing that’s happened to this movie.”

With it being delayed, have you guys lost anyone that was signed on?
“Well, we don’t know yet because what happens is, once we finally you know say, ‘Right, we are all going,’ then we find out who we’ve got and who we’ve not. But I often find that when you lose people, you so often end up… It’s like me with movies. Movies that I lose, I get depressed about, and I end up getting one that’s even better. You know, there were movies that I lost before “Phantom” and if I’d done them, I wouldn’t have been able to do “The Phantom,” you know? And likewise, I just got a movie that I wouldn’t have been able to do if I hadn’t lost the one before.”

What movie is it?
“I’m not telling you because it hasn’t been announced yet. But it’s HUGE!” [It’s since been announced that Butler will star in Frank Miller’s “300”]

You’re not going to be be playing James Bond, are you?

What’s happening with “Beowulf & Grendel?”
“It’s just finished. It’s gonna be premiering at the Toronto Film Festival. I haven’t seen it with the music but I can’t wait to see it because again, it’s great to pick very specific types of movies and types of characters. This is such an unusual, and poetic, and beautiful and weird story, you know, that’s so not like anything Hollywood would throw up. And we filmed in Iceland, the most impressive landscapes I’ve ever come across, you know, so you have all that in this movie.”

Who’s the target audience?
“God knows! You know, quite an intelligent audience I think though because it’s actually very deep and spiritual. It’s really a metaphor for racism and human ignorance of other cultures, that’s the kind of angle we’ve taken. And in the end it’s very profound. And we find we’ve set up a website for it, and you know, if you look on that web site the people that go on that web site are all very literate and well read and…”

And your Gerard Butler fans….
“No, a lot of them, no, no. (Laughing) Some of them hate me!”

Gerard Butler interview on Burns: Hit the play button on the video unit to start the video.


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