×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Gerard Butler Feared Terrorism Film ‘London Has Fallen’ Would Strike Chord

Gerard Butler, who stars in the terrorism-centric action film “London Has Fallen,” was concerned that the nature of the movie may strike a sensitive chord in audiences, the actor admitted to Variety.

“At the end of the day, it’s a fictional movie. It’s entertainment,” Butler said at the Los Angeles premiere of the action-thriller, which is a sequel to 2013’s “Olympus Has Fallen.” “It’s about us winning. It’s about what happens when the shit hits the fan, and who stands up to face the challenge. It’s based on heroism and the good guys kicking –ss,” said the Scottish star, who reprises his role as U.S. Secret Service agent Mike Banning in the film.

“The movie certainly highlights our vulnerability all over the planet — I think we all feel that,” added Radha Mitchell, who returns as Leah Banning. “If anything, it draws attention to the fact that we really have to find a peace in ourselves and between each other.”

Also commenting on the film’s terrorism-focused plot was actor Alon Moni Aboutboul, who plays an FBI most-wanted terrorist in the film.

“Maybe there’s something comforting [about this movie], because reality is more radical,” he said. “It doesn’t try to imitate reality, this movie.”

The “Olympus Has Fallen” follow-up centers on a terrorist attack that occurs during the British prime minister’s London funeral, which has drawn attendance from leaders around the world. In addition to Butler and Mitchell, “Olympus Has Fallen” actors Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Robert Forster and Sean O’Bryan also reprise their roles in the sequel.

To the “London Has Fallen” cast and creators, a successful sequel film requires an expansion of the ideas presented in the first installment, as well as an evolution of the original characters.

“Don’t rest on your laurels,” said Butler, who also produced the film. “A lot of sequels churn things up just for the hell of churning them up. We thought, ‘Where can we take these characters and extend ideas that came up in the first one? How can we make it a bigger canvas? How can we take it to new heights?'”

“You’ve got to build on the stories,” said Mitchell. “The characters have to evolve.  In a sequel, you need to have the same amount of action, same amount of excitement, and you need to build on the personal aspects of the story.”

Added Bassett, who reprises her role as Secret Service director Lynne Jacobs, “Respect the audience and start with a good script.”

Butler, whose versatile track record includes acting roles in romantic comedy, fantasy, war, action and animation films, also revealed that while he enjoys starring in action films, he feels that dramas yield his best acting performances.

“I love making action movies, but when you get your teeth into a chunky role in a drama and you’re so involved in it, that’s a very powerful experience and that’s addictive.”

Butler, Mitchell, Aboutboul and Bassett were joined at the premiere — which was hosted at the ArcLight Hollywood — by “London Has Fallen” co-stars Eckhart, Freeman, Forster, O’Bryan, Bryan Larkin, Colin Salmon and Waleed Zuaiter, as well as director Babak Najafi, screenwriters Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt, producer Alan Siegel and composer Trevor Morris.

After-party festivities commenced at Hollywood’s Boulevard3 lounge, where distinguished guests like Butler and Bassett mingled amidst an array of emotionless men dressed as British royal guards. Guests were treated to assorted drinks, U.K. flag-adorned hors d’oeuvres and multiple London-themed photo booth stations — in which Butler didn’t hesitate to jump and pose.

Focus Features bows “London Has Fallen” March 4.

More Scene

  • Noah CentineoNickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards, Show,

    Kids’ Choice Awards 2019: JoJo Siwa, Noah Centineo Take on Bullying

    This year’s Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards was full of positivity and encouragement to be yourself. DJ Khaled, known for his upbeat mantras, hosted the 32nd annual awards ceremony alongside JoJo Siwa at USC’s Galen center. Siwa accepted the award for favorite social music star. Siwa said in her acceptance speech, “I get hated on every [...]

  • Tina KnowlesSoul of Nation: Art in

    Jay-Z, Tina Knowles Celebrate New 'Soul of a Nation' Exhibit at Broad Museum

    “This show is so important. I mean, it’s our history — and it’s a very important part of our journey,” Tina Knowles Lawson said about Friday night’s opening of the exhibition “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963 – 1983” at the Broad Museum in DTLA. “I’m just so impressed [...]

  • Jordan Peele'Us' film premiere, Arrivals, New

    Jordan Peele Explains the Meaning Behind the 'Us' Michael Jackson Reference

    Jordan Peele’s horror movie “Us” is filled with pop culture references, from “Jaws” to “Goonies.” But the most divisive might be right in his opening sequence. Warning, minor spoilers ahead. The movie about a couple (played by Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke) and their children being hunted and brutalized by a mysterious family that looks just [...]

  • Danielle Brooks'Ain't Too Proud - The

    How 'Orange Is the New Black' Star Danielle Brooks Became a Broadway Producer

    Danielle Brooks earned a Tony nomination when she made her Broadway debut as Sofia in the 2015 revival of “The Color Purple,” but now the “Orange Is the New Black” star is working behind the scenes as a producer on the new jukebox musical “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations.” “I [...]

  • Nick Offerman Amy Poehler

    'Parks and Recreation' Cast Talks Possibility of a Revival at 10th Anniversary Reunion

    For one night, Hollywood felt a little like Pawnee. The cast of NBC’s hit comedy “Parks and Recreation” reunited at PaleyFest on Thursday in honor of the show’s 10th anniversary. The whole Pawnee gang showed up: Amy Poehler, Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza, Nick Offerman, Aziz Ansari, Rob Lowe, Adam Scott, Rashida Jones, Retta, and Jim [...]

  • Andy CohenThe Shops and Restaurants at

    Andy Cohen to Receive Vito Russo Award at GLAAD Media Awards

    Mazel, Andy Cohen! Bravo’s late-night talk show host is set to receive the Vito Russo Award at the 30th annual GLAAD Media Awards on May 4 in New York City. Sarah Jessica Parker will present him with the award, which is named in honor of GLAAD founder Vito Russo. The annual award goes to openly [...]

  • Variety TV Summit Europe

    Variety TV Summit Europe Coming to London on June 13

    Variety’s TV Summit Europe will coincide with London Tech Week this year, returning to the city on June 13. The international conference will be held at the Royal Lancaster and is co-produced by global events company Informa’s KNect365 division, the world’s largest business-to-business organizer. The one-day summit will focus on the intersection of content and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content