He made his mark in Hollywood in 2007 starring as Leonidas, the Spartan King, in Zack Snyder’s blockbuster “300.” The film broke box office records in its opening weekend, solidifying him as a leading man. Now, Gerard Butler is conquering the action-comedy genre as he stars opposite Jennifer Aniston in Columbia Pictures’ “The Bounty Hunter.”
“Gerry’s been in a lot of different kinds of movies, but his talent for comedy is just beginning to be explored,” says producer Neal Moritz. “I think this movie was tailor-made for him.”
In the film, Milo (Butler), a down-on-his-luck bounty hunter, gets his dream job when he is assigned to track down his bail-jumping ex-wife, reporter Nicole (Aniston). He thinks all that’s ahead is an easy payday, but when Nicole gives him the slip so she can chase a lead on a murder cover-up, Milo realizes that nothing ever goes simply with him and the ex.
“Milo is a guy’s guy, so we wanted somebody that could play a little down and dirty,” explains director Andy Tennant. “Gerry’s one of those guys, but he can also do the comedy.”
Butler notes what drew him to the film: “I took one look at this script, and I loved it. It was sharp, hilarious, edgy, and it was on. I laughed from start to finish and I thought, ‘I wanna play that guy.’”
“Milo Boyd was a great cop back in the day. But he could let things get the better of him – including his ex-wife, Nicole,” Butler says of his character’s background. “When they got divorced, he lost his way a little bit, even got himself booted off the police force. So he’s now become a bounty hunter, and honestly, he’s not doing too great. He sleeps on a buddy’s sofa half the time. He’s just trying to convince himself that he’s happy.”
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When Milo gets the assignment to bring Nicole in, “He thinks this is the best day of his life,” Butler continues. “He’s hugely excited. Of course, that’s where it all goes wrong.”
For Butler, the opportunity to show a couple still crazy about each other – even as they drive each other crazy – was a great attraction to the role. “I think their intellects matched beautifully,” says Butler. “He loved her humor, her quick wittedness, her doggedness, her stubbornness – all the very things that now drive him up the wall. But it’s clear that Milo and Nicole still have a lot of feelings for each other.”
Aniston says that Butler’s charm put the whole cast and crew at ease. “Gerry’s just funny. That’s what’s so great about him – he’s absolutely disarming. Here comes this gorgeous Scottish actor who you think you should be afraid of, but he’s really just a softy.”
“I just love the interactions between Jennifer and Gerry in this movie,” Moritz says. “There was so much playfulness between them, and their relationship evolved over the course of the movie.”
Opening soon across the Philippines, “The Bounty Hunter” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.