Gerard Butler did an interview with Variety for their feature on the International Star of the Year. Excerpts from part one and part two are below:
Born in Glasgow, Butler spent much of his life in nearby Paisley before earning a degree and becoming a lawyer. Despite showing promise in the legal profession -- he was elected president of his school's law society -- the opportunity to pursue his passion for acting came when he auditioned for a stage production of Shakespeare's Roman tragedy "Coriolanus."
Now, more than two decades later, he is gearing up to star in a bigscreen adaptation of the play opposite Ralph Fiennes, who also makes his directorial debut with the project. Butler hopes that his current streak of box office success will enable him to continue to pursue more challenging and left-field roles.
"If I can keep making movies that perform at the box office, then it allows me to go and move into Shakespeare territory," Butler says. "I was talking to someone the other day and we were both surprised that I've actually been able to make it. I would always love to go off and make films like 'Dear Frankie' or 'Beowulf' even when there were larger projects around. In the long run that has paid off, but in the short term -- especially when those films didn't make any money -- it can make you a liability. But I wanted to do those films because I loved them."
On fellow actors:
"When I was younger, what made me want to act was the movie stars I was in love with, whether it was a Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Robert Mitchum or even a David Niven, crazily enough. Sean Connery, of course, topped them all in my book, since I am Scottish.
"These characters, these actors -- just wanting so much to be them and live that life and to live the world that they created. I know this might sound very boring, but my fantasies in life was always to live within another story, another world, another fantasy. When I would watch movies or even television it would hurt so much wanting to be there, doing that and being in that character and in that world."
Scottish actors: Brian Cox, James McAvoy, Robert Carlisle, Ewan McGregor