After a busy year so far for popular actor Gerard Butler he’s about to return to the big screen with action movie Law Abiding Citizen.
So far he has already starred in The Ugly Truth and Gamer and temas up with Jamie Foxx for his latest movie.
– You’re also a producer on Law Abiding Citizen, so the script really must have had an impact on you.
I was originally pretty engrossed by the script’s punchiness. It hits you in a way that most thrillers don’t – it’s completely unexpected. You’re engaged from the beginning, right from the start when there’s this kind of horrific event happens and you’re with this character, you think this is your guy, but suddenly you swap over and you’re siding with someone else.
Your hero comes from another place. It’s a very engaging, intense scary story but yet at the same time something that fills you with a lot of empathy and emotion for both characters.
– Tell us more about your character, ‘Clyde Shelton’?
This could be anybody. This could be me or you and how would we behave in that situation? He’s not a villain- he didn’t ask to be in this situation. If this hadn’t happened to him he wouldn’t be where he is and he wouldn’t be exacting the revenge or being as violent or as brutal as he is.
But unfortunately, like I say, the randomness of life has left him in that situation. So, for me it was interesting to create this character who in the end you’d be terrified of- but he’s not a stock bad character
– Whose choice was it for Clyde to be naked when he is arrested?
Well it wasn’t mine, I think that was in there from the start, or shortly after so it was there for a couple of years and I couldn’t wangle out of it.
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– Did you want to? How did you feel about it?
I mean that’s the thing, that’s why to be honest I wouldn’t have got rid of it because it’s a really cool moment. Like so many moments in this movie, it takes you by surprise, but it makes complete sense as well.
He’s being arrested and he has a huge plan so he’s got to play safe and show that there’s nothing else going on. It also was a chance for me to get really cut and shredded!
I was inspired by De Niro in Taxi Driver, and often when you see psychos and you see all those muscles and they’re being all sinewy it’s quite menacing. It suggests how much extra work and effort has been put into this plan.
– Explain the progression from law-abiding citizen to criminal mastermind?
They messed with the wrong guy. There is a switch in Clyde and somebody turned it on. Unfortunately for everybody else, he has the talent, capacity and tenacity to basically ensure that he brings the person that was supposed to help him Nick Rice and the system, to its knees.
– Some people say ‘never play a crazy person crazy’ because crazy people don’t know they’re crazy. How did you approach this with Clyde, is he crazy is he not crazy?
Well I don’t think he’s crazy. I think with Clyde in some ways there’s a complete detachment. In order to get where he’s extremely sane about what he does. There’s so much planning and calculation that’s gone into this and he’s an absolute genius.
There’s a lot of reason behind this as well, he’s not barking mad. All the stuff that’s happened to him would explain why he’s doing this, so I think there’s a large element of revenge.
I think the only part where that would be slightly insane, perhaps, is where he’s cut off the morality of what he’s doing.
– In your research in this role did you find anything that surprised you about the justice system? Was there some truth to this movie?
Yes, there’s definitely some truth to this movie. Initially the way it was written was one of the killers gets off completely free and I always thought against that because I didn’t believe that just by grassing on the other person you would get off scot free.
In the end it didn’t but what I did realise was how often that happens, or even that there is a possibility for that to happen. Basically just by grassing on other people, you can hugely reduce your sentence.
So sometimes it feels like there is a huge lack of justice in this system and how much this plea bargaining goes on and how little say the victims have.
– Tell us about Jamie Foxx and his character ‘Nick Rice’?
I’ve learned a lot from Jamie, he’s a very, very smart guy and talented. He makes Nick smooth, charismatic, he’s intelligent, he’s witty. But at the end of the day he’s a good man as well He’s a good family man.
– The film’s pretty intense, did you have fun on set?
I think most of the fun I had with Jamie was in going out. We could always have a laugh together, but once we got inside this cage it was pretty serious but I mean when we went out on the town we had some fun stories.
– When I watched Law Abiding Citizen there was a lot of reaction to some scenes in this movie. Do you think that’s because some of theses scenes are just so shocking people are blown away?
It is going be a pretty memorable experience for the audience. There’s just something that’s a little tweaked which is unusual as well as the great cast, it’s been brilliantly directed and shot so cool, you just want to sit there and watch it.
But on top of that it has got this really unusual story that kind of turns everything on its head and then the way especially myself as a character, the things I do, it always cuts ahead of what you expect.
This movie has so many shocking and surprising moments, it’s gripping and you never really know what is going to happen. I’ve been into a couple of screenings and you can literally feel the audience grasping onto their seats and even applauding.
It all comes from a true yet entertaining place. I think that there’s a lot of mind-blowing stuff, it never fails to disappoint.
Law Abiding Citizen is released on 27 November