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Gerard Butler Discusses the Possibility of a Robert Burns Movie


Is it true you are planning on starring in a movie about the life of Robert Burns?
Well, that’s the plan. We have a script, which is magnificent. Julia Stiles wants to do it. Brian Cox wants to do it. We’re going to fill that with the best cast of actors, and one of my best friends is directing it – Vadim Jean. I’m so excited about it.

You look at “Million Dollar Baby” that just won all the Oscars. They couldn’t get that financed for love nor money, you know? “Ray” – they couldn’t get it financed and then even when they made it, they couldn’t get distribution. So this is a movie about a Scottish poet which could be wonderful, but is obviously difficult just to finalize all the pieces of financing. But I hope to do that by sometime this summer.

Does playing a man who is so beloved worry you at all? It seems there would be added pressure to get it right.
Yes, but I’ve dealt with a few of these now having played Attila and Dracula and Phantom. You quickly learn to kind of, in some ways, let yourself off the hook in that respect. As long as you do the best work that you can and not make it bland because you’re going down a lane that is trying to make everybody happy. You have to take an angle on these things. That’s what we did with “Beowulf.” That’s how I approached the role of The Phantom. I took a specific lane knowing that as for as much as this was going to make some people appreciate it all the more, others just wouldn’t get it. And that, to me, is a more exciting way to go about acting than giving a performance that you think will just kind of keep everybody generally happy (laughing). So we had to take an angle on Burns, and I love the angle that we’ve taken.

I’m sure, at the end, you can never keep everybody happy, especially the Scots - I hate to say this - if you’re dealing with one of their national heroes. No matter what way you do it, there’s no way you’ll keep everybody happy. So I’ll expect some praise and I’m sure I’ll get a lot of abuse (laughing).


[Don’t’ read this answer unless you’ve seen “Dear Frankie”]

What do you think happens after the film ends? What does your character do?
Well, the old romantic, optimistic part of me would like to think I came back and started a relationship with the boy. And you know, I would think he came back more frequently, simply because of what I did. That I actually took on the mantle of that role that he had, of the father who’s a sailor who writes letters and really loves the boy – and then eventually came back and settled. That’s the optimistic part of me. There’s also the part that likes to think that maybe he did just leave and that maybe that was it. That it was just a beautiful moment in time.

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