Video:Gerard Butler Interview - Law Abiding Citizenwith Rebecca Murray
Gerard Butler and his producing partner Alan Siegel made 'Law Abiding Citizen' their first production under their Evil Twin banner. In the film, Butler plays a husband and father who seeks justice after his family is brutally murdered.See Transcript
Transcript:Gerard Butler Interview - Law Abiding CitizenRebecca Murray from About.com Hollywood Movies at the LA Premiere of Overture Films' Law Abiding Citizen.
Gerard Butler – 'Clyde Shelton' of Law Abiding Citizen
You wanted to actually play the other role first – why?
Gerard Butler: "You know what? I guess you would consider probably traditionally that the Nick Rice role, the prosecutor, was the hero – the lead role. And I was going to play that because I'm like the hero, the lead guy. And then when Jamie came onboard, I knew that he was interested in that and I thought in actual fact, he would kill in that role, you know? I mean he is so great at that kind of subtle, suffering soul that just everything is happening around him and he mirrors it all. Like in Collateral, you know that kind of idea? And for me, I thought it would be more surprising to play Clyde. You wouldn't be expecting that I would play that character and therefore when I first brought it up, the rest of my producing team and manager and agents were like, 'Ahhh, no. Maybe that's not a good idea.' But when we knew that Jamie would play the prosecutor and I said, 'Do you want to play the prosecutor and I'll jump over and play Clyde?' and he said, 'Yeah.' And I'm like, 'This is fun!' And it was a swap over."
And why was this one your first producing project? Why did you make this film?
Gerard Butler: "Because we read it, we loved it, and I said, 'You know what? If I'm going to produce a project, I want a certain amount of artistry there.' But we also want it to be commercial – and this movie is really commercial. It's cool. It's exciting and it's different. I think it works on all levels. And you know? I thought we could make a cracking little film for our first film."
What can people connect to in Law Abiding Citizen?
Gerard Butler: "I think people can connect to a lot of things. It's been my experience that right from the start of the movie, I mean literally you have about five seconds to get ready and then you're off and it's like, 'Wow,' immediately. You're involved with the character who loses everything in the first few seconds and then you think, 'Oh, okay, well at least now he's going to get some justice.' That doesn't happen either. You see the killers walk free. Then you're inside this guy's head and you're also inside Jamie's head, who plays the prosecutor. And you're understanding both views, and then you're off on a ride watching this guy rip everybody apart and take vengeance on a system, on a city, on all the people involved."
And being a producer?
Gerard Butler: "It was a lot of work and I loved it because I got to be right at the heart of the process. I worked with a huge amount with the writers developing the script. You watch the movie and I'm like, 'Oh, that was my scene! That was my scene, and that was my idea.' And you know in the casting and even F Gary Gray, it's kind of a great experience to do that. But, at the same time, I had to learn when to cut off, when to say, 'Okay, producer hat over there. Now I'm here. Now I'm Clyde.'"
Alan Siegel – Producer of Law Abiding Citizen
This is Evil Twin's first producing project, right?
Alan Siegel: "Evil Twin's first. We are virgins in the film business and we open with this. It's amazing. We have Jamie Foxx, we have Viola Davis, we have Gerry Butler of course. We have F Gary Gray directing and I've got my partner over here, Lucas Foster. It's amazing."
So every project is going to have that high of names?
Alan Siegel: "Every project. Just all of them."
Why did want to do this one as your first film?
Alan Siegel: "The writing is so beautiful, so fantastic. I haven't read a script in a long time that kept me going, a page-turner."
You must see a lot of scripts but this one really stood out?
Alan Siegel: "I read a lot of scripts. I read 10, 15 scripts a week but this one was a page-turner. You never knew what was going to happen next. Very exciting."
You can root for either person because they are doing something right, at least in their minds.
Alan Siegel: "That's the beauty of both actors. They gave so much. Jamie might have made a mistake, we're not sure in his characterization, but he's fighting for his family who he loves. And Gerry had this horrible, horrible thing happen to his family. At first, you're so sympathetic and then at a certain point…his acting skills are just amazing in this movie because he turns on a slight dime and all of a sudden he starts doing things that aren't so good – and you're still rooting for him. So it's kind of odd that he's so charismatic that you just love him, but at a certain point he's gone too far and you don't root for him anymore. But both amazing portrayals."
I'd imagine that's a pretty tough line to walk and tone to capture, wasn't it?
Alan Siegel: "Well, Gary Gray really had his finger on the pulse there. He was watching those guys so much and there's about three or four or five scenes that we have between the two of them and Gary made sure that each scene was filled. He's the one who set the tone, actually."