×
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.

Popular on Variety

More Scene

  • DOLEMITE IS MY NAME!, 2019, DOL_Unit_06284.RAF

    'Dolemite Is My Name' Writer Larry Karaszewski Recalls 10-Year Journey to Make Rudy Ray Moore Biopic

    “Harriet” writer-director Kasi Lemmons was in a reflective mood at Tuesday night’s “Behind the Screen” event at the Formosa Cafe in West Hollywood, sponsored by the Writers Guild of America West. The biopic, starring Cynthia Erivo as slave-turned-abolitionist Harriet Tubman, has been receiving buzz since its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. It’s Lemmons’ [...]

  • Taika Waititi and Roman Griffin Davis

    Holocaust Experts Debate 'Jojo Rabbit' at Museum of Tolerance Screening

    With its comedic, cartoonish portrayal of Nazis, Taika Waititi’s satirical Hitler youth tale “Jojo Rabbit” has polarized critics and audiences alike. And that division continued to be stirred at Tuesday night’s screening of the film at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, where Liebe Geft, director of the museum, moderated a heated panel discussion [...]

  • Laura Dern MoMA

    Gwendoline Christie, Adam Driver Honor Laura Dern at MoMA Film Benefit

    Laura Dern is certainly no stranger to film sets. “Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd birthed me and bred me on cinema,” she said on Tuesday night in New York City, as she accepted honors at the Museum of Modern Art’s annual Film Benefit, presented by Chanel. “I was conceived on a Roger Corman movie called [...]

  • Jon Huerta

    'This Is Us' Star Jon Huertas Builds Community With Venice's Clutch Restaurant

    “This Is Us” star Jon Huertas, who’s being honored at the Napa Valley Film Festival with Variety Vivant’s Spice Award Nov. 13, has always known he wanted a career in Hollywood. But he’s something of an accidental restaurateur. No, he didn’t exactly stumble into co-owning Clutch, one of the hottest upscale casual restaurants in Venice, [...]

  • John Legend LVE Wine

    Celebrities Take Hands-On Approach to Making Fine Wines

    Care to sip champagne backed by Jay Z or 50 Cent? Or mellow out with a fine Chianti from Sting and Trudie Styler? Behind every wine label is an incredibly expensive team effort of surprising proportions. Wine lovers may consider making their own as the ultimate dream; however, few can afford the buy-in. Vineyards are [...]

  • St. Clair Brown, Mad Fritz lead

    Craft Beer Thrives in the Heart of Napa Wine Country

    Napa Valley has long been devoted to the products of the grape, but the region actually played a pivotal role in getting the craft beer revolution off the ground. New Albion Brewing launched the microbrewery trend in adjacent Sonoma County in 1976, inspiring a wave of delicious and potent alternatives to pale industrial beer. There’s [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content