– or the subject of critical regard generally (the other elephant in the room! He has quality bone structure and what is known in the trade as 'piercing blue eyes'. um." So he quickly gives up, shrugs and says: "Yeah, I do," which I rather respect. He says, enthusiastically: "He's one of my favourite actors. Gerard Butler has an interesting back story, which you may well have read before, if you are a fan, of which there are many.I ask: Do you think of yourself as a fantastic-looking cutie-pie with piercing blue eyes? I tell him he reminds me, slightly, of a meatier James Mc Avoy, that there's a physical similarity, but he disputes this. He's always got it right and he's a good dude, a really sweet guy. Indeed, Facebook fan sites include 'Gerard Butler is my husband…"It's nothing," he says, "I hadn't even noticed it. But it's at times like that you think: I should have stayed behind a desk! "I think it created a lot of sadness in my life and self-doubt." Did he explain why he hadn't been in touch for all those years? He was incredibly entertaining and a great story-teller. He believes in The Secret, whereby you visualise what you want and, voila, it comes true. He says one of the scripts "does give me a nice opportunity to grow up a bit" but then adds "not that I would want to stop doing action and adventure".Gerard Butler is the Scottish actor who has made it big in Hollywood and is rumoured to have dated all the usual suspects (Jennifer Aniston, Cameron Diaz, Some Supermodel Or Other) and none of the unlikelier ones (Whoopi Goldberg, Danny De Vito, A Bearded Lady) which is a pity, as such rumours would at least be interesting, and I've also read he earns m per film. Gerry, love, I say to him, whatever you do, don’t turn a film down without mentioning my name and saying I will do it for m, with full nudity and everything. Now I know, by the way, why my mum keeps saying: 'Hey, what about a place in Tuscany and then one in Jamaica? She must have read the same article." Oh, Mrs Butler. But I don't, and I don't know where the figure comes from. You think I could get more if I promised no nudity? ” and then says: "Look, I don't get m a movie although, trust me, if I did I'd be very happy to say it, because it sounds great.
"I feel," he says, "like I've come out of a string of… Their eventual reunion, he says, when his father simply turned up one day, "stirred up a shit storm in me" and when Edward, a bookmaker, died a couple of years later, Gerard went off the rails and took to drink. He once woke up in Paris, miles from where he'd been at a party, covered in gashes and blood and, to this day, he has no idea what happened. I wanted to be part of that romance or that fantasy or be that warrior or that struggling soul who finally makes it good." Maybe you didn't want to live your own story, I suggest. Or maybe I wanted to have my cake and eat it, live my story and everybody else's. I remember when Grease came out, I used to force my mum to try and grease my hair back and it was never long enough and literally I'd be screaming at her 'Do it. So, what does Gerard Butler eat, then, if he doesn't cook? I didn't recognise my face, and I didn't recognise my soul. I took a sip and went to the toilet and threw up and said: 'That's it'.
A law student at Glasgow University at the time, he drank his way though his degree, and was a reckless drunk. And he drank through his first job as a trainee civil lawyer in Edinburgh until he was fired, a week before he was due to qualify. If you'd stuck at it you could have sued lots of people on behalf of other people by now. He says: "I was at the doctor's a couple of weeks ago and found I'd broken two little bones in my neck from when I was doing Olympus." Jesus, I say. "Jobless, he decided to come to London in the hope of becoming an actor. And that's the last time I ever had a drink."Do you, I ask, think the drinking was the result of your father's double abandonment, first by absence and then by dying? "Right now, I'm sitting on some of the best scripts I've read in a long time." I'd like to see you do something quiet, I say.
So, we meet at a central London hotel, ostensibly to discuss his latest film for which, it is now apparent, he didn't earn m, and this is Olympus Has Fallen, a right-wing, Die Hard-style siege fantasy set in the White House which may, alas, be one of the worst films I have ever seen.
(Full disclosure: I don't see many action films, as they're not my favoured genre, so it may be there are even worse ones.)Anyway, being cowardly by nature, as well as a dissembler, I hope we can get through our hour together without mentioning the film – the elephant in the room! This is certainly my plan, as it would be any sensible dissembler's plan, so I kick off by telling him what a fantastic-looking, cutie-pie of a man he is, which, unusually, is actually the truth. not at all." It was close, but I think I got away with it.
There have been a number of rom-coms, for example, including The Bounty Hunter, with Ms Aniston, which I downloaded but could not watch after it became evident Gerard's character kidnapped women for a living. I can't specify a movie, but there was one where I just think it was the wrong director, and another where the director had to be taken off the film because he basically had Alzheimer's. He says: "It really pisses me off when people go, 'Just go work with Paul Thomas Anderson or Quentin Tarantino'. OK, it begins with his parents, Edward and Margaret, who moved from Paisley, Scotland to Montreal, Canada, when Gerard was six months old. I was with my mum and the point where Richard Dreyfuss is under the boat and there's a hole in the boat, and the head pops out, I went into hysterics and she had to take me out of the cinema." He says he tried, in Olympus, to put in similar jump-out-of-your-seat moments.