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Taking it as it comes

MINI ANTHIKAD-CHHIBBER
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Cinema Gerard Butler says he doesn’t plan ahead as things very rarely go as planned

PARALLEL JOURNEYSOf the actor and character
PARALLEL JOURNEYSOf the actor and character

After Coriolanus and the recent surfer film, Chasing Mavericks, Gerard Butler appears in the romantic comedy Playing for Keeps .

The film that is opening on December 7, is directed by Gabriele Muccino. It tells the story of a former soccer player George (Butler) trying to get his life back in order.

The movie also stars Jessica Biel, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Uma Thurman and Dennis Quaid.

In an e-mail interview Butler talks about the movie and rediscovering the joy of soccer.

Did you have to do any special training for the role?

For this movie, I really started playing soccer a lot. It was a lot of work. I played soccer when I was younger. That was my sport. When I was a kid I was a great player but I wasn’t a skillful player who could do all the tricks. But now I am a guy who can do tricks and keep it up. I am hooked all over again. I want to play soccer all the time now.

What drew you to the role?

I’m a guy who struggles through life just like the next guy. There are a lot of similarities between George’s journey and the journey of an actor. And maybe my journey — someone who is in the spotlight and who has to fight a little harder to get past that to find what is deeper and more meaningful in life. I also find that leads to a lot of hilarious consequences … and I’ve often seen the craziness of my own situation and what’s happening with me. I found the movie very funny but I also found it very touching.

What was the experience of working with Gabriele Muccino like?

I don’t know where to start with Gabrielle because there is so much going on with him. I get so filled with love when I see him because he’s happy and jovial.

There’s just such a lovely quality about him. When he works, he’s an animal. And I mean he’s passionate and he’s hungry and his hands are all over the place. He loves to get compassion and the emotion out of his actors. He also understands the deeper, darker human emotions.

How was it to work with Jessica Biel, Uma Thurman and Catherine Zeta Jones?

It was amazing. All three actresses are beautiful and I don’t think I could have asked for a better cast. It’s been a major heist to get them all involved in the movie; we have the cream of the crop.

Why did you choose to produce this film?

I knew straight away that it was something I wanted to get involved with. I thought we’d have fun telling the story, move people with these characters and definitely make them laugh.”

Are you more comfortable in romantic comedies or action films?

I’m just going along doing my thing. Like if I say, “that’s it, I’m going to do a romantic comedy,” my next movie without a doubt will be an action or a thriller.

Whenever I plan something, very rarely does it go that way. I’ll sit back and take it as it comes, so you never know.

What next?

I really enjoy doing sport-centric films and after Playing for Keeps , I am really looking forward to my next film Olympus has Fallen .

Any plans to visit India?

I just love the country, the people and the food. Everything about it is so bright, colourful and cheerful. So, I am hoping to visit India soon.

MINI ANTHIKAD-CHHIBBER

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