Actor Gerard Butler on his role in The Ugly Truth, that’s releasing on Friday
He floored us as Gerry Kennedy in P.S., I Love You. In his latest release The Ugly Truth, a battle-of-the-sexes comedy, Gerard Butler stars opposite Katherine Heigl as Mike Chadway, who runs a local television show. The handsome Scot talks about his role in this film, his restaurant and much more…
What’s your character about?
I’m running this show about relationships, men, women, sex; what men should do to get the kind of relationships they want, and what women have to do as well. He’s the kind of person that guys would love and women would hate.
The film addresses an interesting concept about modern day TV news. We used to think the medium was for news and information. Abby (Katherine Heigl) is trying to produce a show that gives local flavour, but in reality the people want titillation and controversy. What’s your take?
It is understandable why people are attracted to what goes on inside others’ heads. People do the same with cooking shows and wild life shows. All to increase ratings. Why are we sitting and watching for hours someone sleeping? That’s very sad.
There is sexual chemistry between the lead characters; and, of course, the steamy Latin dance. Were you surprised at how seductive that moment turns out to be?
Yes; it was explosive! Katie already knew how to dance; I took a few lessons before the film. I thought I’d have a problem remembering the moves, but once we started, it just happened.
Did you know Katie before this?
No, we met right before the film. We had a lot of fun together. She is an amazing woman and we had a blast doing it. I think we’ve had great chemistry together.
She was also your boss, your producer.
But, I never felt the weight of her as a producer; she could have been a bit of a nightmare but she wasn’t at all.
The two of you had a few colourful dialogues. Do you have inhibitions talking like that in front of a woman?
I speak like that. It is actually one of the reasons why I got this role. I was working with the other producers on a film, and I was always brooding. One night we go out for a meal, and I am telling my sexist jokes. These guys are looking at each other and smiling. Finally, they give me a script they want me to read. When I read it, I knew what they were thinking when I was telling those jokes.
So now do you have this reputation as a jokester?
I don’t know. It is not the way I think. But, women do find some of this humour funny because it is who men are. I think my humour is a Scottish thing. We love rude jokes; jokes that really push the envelope.
What would you change in your attitude towards women?
I wish I could compliment attractive women. We’ve taken something as simple as sexual attraction, turned it into something complicated. We’ve made the rules we must abide by that make it difficult to connect with each other.
What challenged you when making the film?
In all the roles I’ve played, I’ve never had even a tenth of the dialogue as in this film; I just never shut up. I have opinions about everything; a smart line for everything. It’s been an interesting experience for me.
How is your restaurant doing?
It’s a Korean barbeque restaurant and people seem to really like it. It’s going okay in these tough times.
How do you feel about your new celebrity status outside the U.K.?
I think there’s a part of you that always imagines that if you encounter success, every fibre of your being will change. But, you’re still like ‘Oh, this person didn’t call me’ and ‘Ah, I have to take care of that bill’.