Tired of barely getting by on small-time cons, renegade gang the Wild Bunch is always looking for the big score. Gerard Butler (“300”) stars as their de facto leader, a street-smart hustler called One Two, who is looking to play both sides of the fence, in Warner Bros.’ new crime comedy “RocknRolla,” a story of sex, thugs and rock ‘n roll. Directed by Guy Ritchie, the acclaimed film will be shown soon exclusively at Ayala Mall Cinemas (Glorietta 4 & Greenbelt 3).
Butler had wanted to work with Ritchie since seeing “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.” “When I opened the script for ‘RocknRolla,’ it was everything I could have dreamed of,” says the actor. “The film is thought-provoking, but it has also got humor, violence and silliness.”
The action comedy takes a dangerous ride into high crime and low life in contemporary London, where real estate has supplanted drugs as the biggest market, and criminals are its most enthusiastic entrepreneurs. Looking to get in is small-time crook One Two (Butler) and his gang, the Wild Bunch. With millions up for grabs, all of London’s criminal underworld conspires, colludes and collides with one another in an effort to take their cut.
Ritchie says that the actor possessed all the qualities he envisioned when he created the role of One Two. “Gerry is that intangible mix of charm and danger, of sincerity and guile.” Once on the set, the director praised the actor’s instincts, noting, “Gerry immediately understood what we were doing, which made my work much easier,” he says. “He basically nailed everything on one take.”
Butler, in turn, attributes his understanding to the director. “Guy knew exactly what he wanted and made it easy for us as actors to follow his train of thought. He’s an amazing director.”
The actor, who lived in London for years, was delighted to not only return to the city but also get a taste of Ritchie’s particular take on the city. “I was quite excited to come back and do a movie in London, especially with Guy, who is seen by many as the ultimate authority on modern London and its culture and humor,” he says. “Guy has a great visual style for mixing the modern and the ancient, putting it all together, and filling it up with character.”
One of Butler’s most memorable scenes was an epic chase through neighborhood backyards, train tracks and warehouses in which One Two is being pursued by two Russian thugs. “It’s an incredibly long and tense action sequence, but it’s also very funny because the guys chasing us cannot be stopped,” Butler says with a laugh. “We shoot them, we hit them, we club them, we crash our cars into them, and they just keep coming. The scene really speaks to Guy’s incredible aesthetic and energy. It’s one of the most unique chase scenes I’ve ever seen, or certainly that I’ve been a part of.”
Butler will be seen next in the romantic comedy “The Ugly Truth,” opposite Katherine Heigl under the direction of Robert Luketic (“Legally Blonde”).
“RocknRolla” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.