Butler: I liked playing outsider
Gerard Butler has revealed how his latest role in Playing For Keeps underwent some major changes - starting as a baseball movie and ending up a feel-good romp.
The 43-year-old big screen heartthrob plays George Dryer, a former Scottish football star who turns up in small-town America to try to rebuild his relationship with his son Lewis and ex Stacie, played by Jessica Biel.
"It's not reinventing the wheel but it's a funny, poignant little story," he said.
After getting roped into teaching the local little league football team, George's attempts to finally "grow up" are thwarted by the gaggle of attractive soccer mums, including Catherine Zeta-Jones and Uma Thurman and an overzealous soccer dad in the shape of a back-slapping Dennis Quaid.
"George is a guy who seems to bring chaos wherever he goes because women like him and men want to be him, but he's not very centred and he doesn't necessarily know how to handle all that," explained the actor, who was also the film's producer and championed the project from the start.
Gerard revealed that the film, directed by Gabriele Muccino, was originally a baseball film, and his own character was American: "But then I thought, 'What am I thinking?' What a chance to really allow for that fish out of water element!"
It wasn't so different from when Gerard first moved to LA in real life, having taken up acting after he was fired from a law firm.
"You jump into the antics but at the same time you have a sense of humour about yourself in that world and spend a lot of time scratching your head about who people are and their attitudes towards life," he laughed.
:: Playing For Keeps is released in cinemas on January 1, 2013.