Gerard Butler is crazy for ‘Law Abiding Citizen’: ‘This is the Hannibal Lecter role’

Sept. 23, 2009 | 10:19 p.m.

Is Gerard Butler making a movie every month or does it just feel that way? Los Angeles Times Calendar writer Rachel Abramowitz talked to him not long ago for “The Awful Truth” and “Gamer” and got a tidbit, too, about Butler’s upcoming vendetta fantasy, “Law Abiding Citizen.” Here it is. — Geoff Boucher

Jamie Foxx and Geard Butler in Law Abiding Citizen

Gerard Butler dumps his heroic persona for a walk on the wild side in the revenge thriller “Law Abiding Citizen.” While the  F. Gary Gray film might make the ACLU shudder, preview audiences have been howling their appreciation  often in favor of Butler’s psychopathic anti-hero.

“This is the Hannibal Lecter role. It’s Kevin Spacey in ‘Se7en,’ ” says Butler, the Scottish actor best known for playing King Leonidas in “300.

Of course, there’s a reason for the rage of Butler’s character. You’d be riled up if your wife and family had been brutally murdered in a  home invasion and the court system let one of the killers off with a slap on the wrist. But Butler’s guy isn’t just after an eye for an eye; he’s a crazed vigilante bent on taking down the entire legal system.

This is Butler’s first foray into producing, and he not only worked on the Kurt Wimmer script but  was willing to forgo his original intention to play the hero to get the movie made.

“We were having a hard time finding the right actor for the role,” he said. Jamie Foxx was interested, but only in the district attorney role.

“ ‘I’ll swap,’ ” Butler said. “He said, ‘Yes,’ at which point I went ‘Oh … I wish I hadn’t said it.’“

Butler  wound up working with an acting coach for the first time on a movie, and now seems happy about his psycho turn. “I’m proud of it.”

— Rachel Abramowitz


Gerard Butler and Michael C Hall in Gamer

“Gamer,” “Surrogate” and “Avatar”: The meaning of 2nd life

Butler: “Gamer” makes “300” look like a walk in the park

Ludacris sees a lot of “Running Man” in “Gamer”

Jason Statham has a message for Marvel: “I want to be Daredevil”

Hugh Jackman’s “Wolverine” homework? He studied Mike Tyson

Photos: Top, Jamie Foxx is a district attorney and Gerard Butler is a man who decides to take justice into his own hands  in “Law Abiding Citizen.”  Credit: John Baer  / Overture Films. Bottom: “Gamer.” Credit:  Lionsgate

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6 Responses to Gerard Butler is crazy for ‘Law Abiding Citizen’: ‘This is the Hannibal Lecter role’

  1. MissDebbieBlue says:

    Gerry your gals and tarts are proud of you too. Looking forward to seeing this movie. Congratulations on a job well done.

  2. DonnaJ says:

    Hi all,
    My hubby and I will see this new movie called Law Abiding Citizen. We enjoy both Gerard Butler and Jaime Fox.
    We have seen RockandRolla, The Ugly Truth and Gamer….We think both Gerard Butler will be magnificient in this his first production. The story reminds us of DEATH WISH or very similar to it…we enjoyed all of those movies…Getting even with a system that does not punish evil people. Yeah…I think it will be a success because many people feel evil doers get by with a lot in our society…and is a response to that…Jaime Fox was excellent in many movies that we have seen with him too.
    Looking forward to getting a chance to see it next week or so when it comes out. Can't wait for DVD of Ugly Truth which was hysterically adult and sooo funny with Butler and Heigl..hope they do a follow up to that movie…it would be great fun…A more mature Sally and Harry…but just fine for we GROWN UPS we can take it…>For those not mature enough, don't see it and the rest of his fans will ENJOY!
    Donnaj and Geo

  3. Lily Mackay says:

    Gerry Butler has the talent, dedication and energy that has allowed him to flaunt stereotypes and give extraordinary performances in a number of genres. He has worked with Oscar winners and Oscar nominees over the past few years and more than held his own on screen. Perhaps the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences needs to realize they have a rare gem in their midst.

  4. Anon says:

    He played a psycho in "Phantom of the Opera" so this is not a new "role" for him.

  5. Stacy says:

    Can't wait for Revenge to be served COLD..!

  6. LuLuB says:

    way to go Gerry!!!
    best regards,

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