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Gerard Butler’s recent films have ranged from the dramatic and operatic The Phantom Of The Opera to the exquisitely violent and spectacular 300, so his next project needed to be something just as unique.
And he feels he found that in P.S. I Love You.
“I always like to change gears and to read such a lucid, smart, funny, irreverent, beautiful, moving and kind of strangely spiritual script was great and very refreshing for me, as an actor,” Butler told Metro recently in Beverly Hills.
Butler plays Gerry Kennedy, a man who is dead within 10 minutes of the opening of the film. But Gerry’s death isn’t the end of his story as he has arranged for a series of letters to be delivered to his widow, Holly, played by two-time Oscar winner Hillary Swank, in an effort to help her get her life back on track after his untimely death.
“I think there is something that is very profoundly moving and hopeful about what Gerry does for her in the fact that to him his love is all consuming and unconditional that he, in knowing he’s going to die, is more concerned about how she should live and the discoveries that she should make within herself and that includes, in the end, finding someone else — another love,” Butler said.
“There’s something quite stirring about that, that ultimate sacrifice, to think that you would love somebody enough to want them to be happy with somebody else.
“It kind of chokes you up a bit.”
After spending all of 300 walking around looking buff in just furry underwear and a cape, Butler is limited to just one shirtless scene in P.S. I Love You — something he’s glad for.
“If I can get away without being topless in a film I’d always rather not go topless because it’s a pain in the ass,” he said.
“If you look great, then it takes a lot of work to look that great and then people start comparing you with either somebody else who looks great or how great you’ve looked before. And if you don’t look great then people start commenting on how you don’t look great. You’re just setting yourself up for a huge amount of criticism.”
And in spite of his on-the-rise sex symbol status, the charming Scotsman said he doesn’t exactly pull that off in this film.
“I think that in this movie, where I’m topless is hardly sexy,” he said. “I’m standing in Chelsea boots with my socks coming up over them, in Irish clover boxer shorts doing the silliest dance ever — and I deliberately made it so. It’s not a sexy moment.”