“For some unknown reason, I am ahead of destiny”

If the importance of a star were measured by the projects to which it has given the “yes” applying to Socrates and his “know yourself”, Gerard Butler would be considered such, and of the outstanding ones, without any problem: “I am clear that there is little subtle in me”, explains this big man of meter ninety and deep voice, born in a town in Scotland 50 years ago and whose strong Musculature drawn in detail, he aroused envy and admiration as he led the brave Spartans in the popular 300.

Since then the contracts rained as before this they were scarce. The “almost” lawyer who lost a permanent position for arriving at the job interview artificially encouraged, after a night of partying, hung up his robe and vices as soon as he found work in the theater, “which was what saved my life because I had become a being completely self-destructive out of frustration”, He repeats as if it were a mantra.

Changing roles

The Scottish actor, who was an icon of the new masculinity, has earned a place among contemporary action heroes

Before Leonidas, king of Sparta, came into his life, “and while I waited for those imperfect and selfish character roles that I like the most and that embroidered Brando or Paul Newman, to come to me”, it was “chico Bond” glancing with Pierce Brosnan in The tomorrow Never Die and “chico “Jolie”, in the adventures of the actress as Lara Croft, but neither this nor have incarnated Dracula, Attila of the Huns, or the Phantom of the opera, of Lloyd Webber singing with his own voice, allowed him to leave the platoon of “promises”, but everything contributed to make him a model of the new masculinity that a prominent brand such as Hugo Boss, used for the launch of its Boss Bottled fragrance. .

Now, with a place of privilege among contemporary action heroes thanks to the saga that began with Objetive the white house, although he does not disgust a good romantic comedy from time to time, he releases his latest film Greenland: the last refuge in that the stand up to a comet that threatens humanity, as if this were another representation of the evil virus of these days, as he fights to keep together his family that he has failed as father and husband. Two roles that are unknown to him in real life, although Jennifer Aniston he was about to end his singleness.

In ‘Greenland, the Last Refuge’, Gerard Butler struggles to keep together a family he has failed

Remembering his role in the popular 300 or in so many adventure and action tapes, it is surprising to see him as an ordinary family man …

Of course, to be honest, this is not the type of character that I usually do. It is usually that man who is capable of facing an entire country. And yet, it is very interesting to show great dramas through the gaze of characters that are as normal as possible. That they have more or less vulgar jobs, that they are stressed on a daily basis and have problems in their marriage. In this case, the look of your kid, who is diabetic and does not quite understand what is happening in his family, is of special importance; what is the dynamic between his father and his mother … It could be anyone.

And when it is least expected, the world turns upside down … Like life itself …

They are the rules of the genre. When the “monster”, Comet Clark, makes its appearance, it takes us by surprise, like so many things in life, but in that instance we are all already involved with that burdened man who tries to unite his family again. I have always liked those great stories where there is some kind of crisis happening in the city, the country or humanity. When we made the film, we knew nothing about Covid-19 and suddenly this global health crisis began to display fear of the unknown, which is something that is in the film. We knew that the parallels would be obvious between fiction and what we are experiencing today. There is a part where our toughness shows. The toughness of humanity. And, on the other hand, our vulnerability, our desire not to lose those things that make us who we are and not to forget that all we want is to love and be loved, leaving everything else aside, because this is the only important thing. . Fertilized land to be able to build interesting characters, which is what feeds us actors.


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Actor and director Viggo Mortensen poses at his home for Magazine

Doesn’t the big drama eat the boy?

No. That’s why it’s not your typical action movie. The comet remains in the background and takes its place little by little. I feel that it is a very emotional and tense film and that you could think that it is about a family living in hell but it is also a portrait of how humanity is going through incredible and unexpected conflicts and how the challenges become more and more important; so much so that only united can we face them. That is why I know that we will certainly survive.

Do you like that your character is not the only hero?

I am pleased to see how things are changing in that sense. The mother is a heroine capable of whatever it takes to protect her son, the boy is a hero who struggles to survive. I really enjoyed the subtleties, the freshness, the mix between normality and exceptionality. It is not all spectacular and action, but it is a perfect reflection of what we are experiencing in this pandemic, changing the scenario and the circumstances.

In ‘Greenland’ it is not all spectacular and action, but it is a perfect reflection of what we are experiencing in this pandemic, changing the scenario and circumstances “

Indeed, the film shows scenes that could be taken from the daily news …

When we are waiting for something of the magnitude of what we are dealing with in reality, moments of nervousness alternate, of worry that torments us and makes us feel that there are many issues that are too big for us and that we do not have the necessary elements to manage individually, but also calmly. You have to queue to get certain essential products, there are moments of panic, but also of boredom, within a strange feeling, like inevitability …

Do you think that seeing the consequences of these situations in fiction can be useful?

I think the scariest thing is not knowing, misinformation. The film shows chaos, how impossible it can be to try to move; get to the airport for example. But also how circumstances put barriers between neighbors who until two minutes ago were best friends and everything was fine and they were happy and in that short period of time we discovered that life is going to change for everyone and that we may never see each other again. There are many moral dilemmas and challenges all around us these days.

Everyone carries some guilt on their shoulders. It is part of the vital backpack “

What’s going on in your head in the middle of this situation?

There is much to ponder. We have each lived in our microcosm: our individuality, our family and our environment with which we interact organically and with which we go through multiple situations without being aware that in a snap everything can change. You have to think about all this and seek inspiration to know where we stand in the world today, where we are as human beings. And how we relate to the planet we live on. About who we are and how we face certain situations, from discovering how wonderful the world was before the crisis and managing the generalized anger with which we express our own points of view and opinions while we think that others are wrong

Do you think that, like your character in the movie, extreme situations lead to repentance and a desire for redemption?

Everyone carries some guilt on their shoulders. It is part of the vital backpack. In the film, my character feels guilty for the breakdown in his relationship with his wife and feels bad for the suffering he has caused both her and her son. You go through many traumatic situations to try to redeem yourself. The last sacrifice you have to make is to ensure your survival and that of yours, and that manifests itself in one of the most elaborate and tense moments of the film, in a chaotic, realistic, pure, passionate, emotional and terrifying way. But in sacrifice is redemption. Although I don’t think guilt makes us better.

Behind ‘Greenland …’

The superhero who knew about comets and asteroids

Apparently, he looks at the sky with an expert eye …
Believe it or not, I know a little about comets and asteroids. I am passionate about astronomy; the world of planets, stars, the universe, galaxies, and comets. I recommended to the director that he watch some documentaries about real impacts of celestial bodies and what would happen in a hypothetical case. One of the things we found in our research is that asteroids and meteors can break apart over millions of years because they collide with each other and keep floating in the cosmos like ping pong balls, and that leaves thousands of fragments out there. Some are small enough to cause no damage or disintegrate before reaching the atmosphere, and others can wipe out entire regions. But we also opened another line of investigation together on the role of those who would take command in such a situation, which would be the parts of society that would break down, who would act in what way, who would help other people and who would be there solely to help yourself.

Why has the cinema historically been so inclined to show often monolithic characters, installed in good or evil depending on the third?

I think it has shown us what we wanted to see. The idea of ​​perfection is always with us. I am interested in thinking that there is good in the worst of us and a little evil in the best of us. That we can do good or do evil, but perhaps for the right reasons. I think we humans care about each other because we carry it in our DNA. I see it in my environment, in my friends. What makes them powerful as heroes is that they don’t know they are. Many times it is the others, the companions, the husbands, the relatives, the wives, who know that this capacity for protection is there.

Butler in Greenland, the last refuge

Scene from ‘Greenland: the last refuge’ where a comet threatens Earth

We live in times of day-to-day heroes …

The same for that “only” you need love, passion and courage. How little right? I wish we were able to ask ourselves, would I do the same?

Isn’t it strange how often the films you make, once filmed, quickly find a reference in reality?

I feel it as something mysterious. Greenland it couldn’t be more relevant. In short, it is true that, for some unknown reason, I am ahead of destiny …

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“For some unknown reason, I am ahead of destiny”