Now I’m over that hill, my career seems to have its own momentum.’ On the back of 300, Guy Ritchie cast Butler as one of the leads in Rockn Rolla (2008).
The film had mixed reviews, but it served as a showcase for Butler’s strain of self-effacing humour that, around the same time, was making its appearance in PS I Love You, a weepy romantic comedy with Hilary Swank.
Second, there is his refreshing refusal to play the game, or indeed, to take himself too seriously.This tongue-in-cheek charm has made Butler one of the highest paid (an estimated -20 million per film), most in-demand actors working in Hollywood.'He’s the guy guys want to be and girls want to be with.’ Butler plays Mike Chadway, a handsome, grizzly-voiced chauvinist who becomes a guest commentator on a morning television show produced by the romantically challenged Abby (Heigl), sending its ratings through the roof.When he takes it upon himself to help Abby find love, it has some very funny – and fairly predictable – consequences. It’s Mel Gibson meets Cary Grant, where twinkling masculinity and wry sensitivity collide.Gerard Butler is in mid-flow, telling me a very funny – and characteristically self-deprecating – story about trying to persuade the producers of his latest film, The Ugly Truth, that he should swap his native Scottish accent for a put-on American one – 'But with an American accent you won’t be as likeable, they said. Well, we don’t, they said’ – when we are interrupted by a waiter.
'Excuse me, Mr Butler, I have a Mr Brad Pitt on the phone for you.’ Butler goes to take the call and returns a few minutes later muttering awkwardly about 'working on a project together’.And with the release of The Ugly Truth, a romantic comedy from the team behind Legally Blonde, in which Butler stars opposite Hollywood’s latest comedy darling, Katherine Heigl (Knocked Up), his stock continues to rise.'Gerry is the movie’s secret weapon,’ Karen Mc Cullah Lutz, one of the film’s writers, says.At the moment, I just happen to be finding comedies kind of irresistible.’ Increasingly, Butler seems to be specialising in two types: the hard man and the funny man.He made his name as the former, launching himself in Hollywood – only two weeks after arriving there in 2000 – by landing the lead role of Attila the Hun in a television film.At the after party of the NYC premiere Monday of his new film, , the actor told Us Weekly why he loves girlfriend Madalina Ghenea, a model/actress he's been dating for 10 months. Not many people when they get to know me put up with me and she does," he confessed.