A TRAINEE solicitor who quit to become an actor is taking on the role which inspired him to pursue a theatrical life a year ago after seeing it at the Fringe.
Gerard Butler, 26, from Paisley, was only a month away from completing his traineeship with a leading Edinburgh law firm when he saw the stage interpretation of Irvine Welsh’s novel Trainspotting, with Paul Ireland in the lead.
He explained that the move was not, in fact, unexpected. “I had always wanted to go into acting,” he said, adding that he had been with the Scottish Youth Theatre.
After completing an honours degree at Glasgow University, he took 18 months out to live in Los Angeles and developed a taste for the big screen with an appearance as an extra in The Bodyguard, starring Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston.
He returned to Scotland to pursue a legal career and secured a traineeship, until a visit to the 1995 Fringe.
‘I suppose it was just the final nail in the coffin. I watched Paul Ireland in the lead role and that just confirmed it.
“I thought,’What am I doing with my life?’.”
He then worked in a variety of jobs in London, before his first break in the Steven Berkoff production of Coriolanus.
From there, he secured he secured the main role of the anti-hero Mark Renton in Trainspotting.
The show opened in the Assembly Rooms on Saturday and will move to Glasgow for a week next month before a tour of Britain.
Copyright 1996 Caledonian Newspapers Ltd.