LOS ANGELES—Up until now, Scotland’s Gerard Butler has been a rarity: a British actor who has been able to keep his accent when making movies in the U.S. However, things have changed with the comedy The Ugly Truth, which is currently playing in Vancouver theatres. Butler was asked to play an American TV personality who gives sex tips on a morning show. He says, in an L.A. hotel room, that he felt he was doing fine until the point in the script where the character is invited to appear on The Craig Ferguson Show. The embarrassment of having to speak with an American accent on his Scottish friend’s TV show reminded him of other occasions when he ran into criticism for being too “American”.
Watch the trailer for The Ugly Truth.
“When I was getting ready to act with Craig, I was told by our people that his name was pronounced ”˜kreg’, which, of course, is a very American take on the name and quite wrong. I said, ”˜No, it’s pronounced “caraig”.’ Trying to work with him and keep my American accent was a nightmare. I had a great time doing that scene, but it was a challenge doing the accent, particularly doing it in front of a guy who you know was thinking, ”˜There is nothing worse than being a Scots guy with an American accent.’ And it has happened to me before. I remember a few years ago I went home after being here for a few months and no one could understand a word I was saying. I was in this bar, and this guy went, ”˜Are you a fucking Yankee?’ which is a Scots attitude. Then I made the mistake of saying ”˜soccer’ instead of ”˜football’. I was flush red for a day, because they can crucify you for that kind of thing.”
Butler costars with Katherine Heigl in the film, which sees his character giving hers advice on how to communicate with men. He tells her that although women go into relationships offering their hearts, men think about these things from a different perspective. He says that when he read the script, he felt that it reflected the way he and his friends approach their relationships with women.
“I know I am going out on a limb with my career here, but there are times when I just have to turn around and look at an ass. Men do that. So at the end of the day, that is what is beautiful about the movie. It shows that through our games and weaknesses we all want the same thing. We all want companionship. I think that when the movie comes out, the battle of the sexes will be a battle of the audiences. The things the characters are saying will be so shocking and unexpected, the guys will be saying, ”˜I am so glad that someone has said that,’ and the women will say, ”˜I knew it. I just knew it.’ In a way, it is a relief that it is out there.”