Ralph Fiennes has said Gerard Butler was just the warrior he needed for Coriolanus.
In the big-screen adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy, the Scottish actor stars as Aufidius, the sworn enemy of Roman soldier Coriolanus – played by Ralph, who also directed the film.
“This is a warrior. I needed a warrior and Gerry came and was determined to kick my a** with knives and guns,” Ralph said.
And the Harry Potter star insisted the themes from the 17th-century play still rang true in today’s society.
“I played it on stage about 10 years ago and it made a very deep impression on me. it’s a play that unquestionably always has resonance with the times we’re in, particularly now with so much uncertainty in the world – social upheaval, political upheaval, war, combat and the constant tension between the nature of leadership and the voice of the people,” he said at the Toronto International Film Festival.
“For me it really seemed to combine a continually resonant political thriller with a Greek tragedy at the centre of it.”
Meanwhile, Gerard revealed he couldn’t resist a role in the movie.
“Last year was a time for me that I kind of stopped and said, ‘OK really, what do I want to do right now?’ and I took on a couple of challenges and read this script, Ralph directing and playing Coriolanus, and I thought this is so delicious, it’s terrifying, it’s exciting, I want to go and do that. That’s Shakespeare, baby!”