Gerard Butler hails Ralph Fiennes for Coriolanus at London premier
08:00 06 January 2012
London’s Mayfair got an extra coating of glamour with the Premier of the new Coriolanus film, last night.
Gerard Butler called Ralph Fiennes’ modern adaptation of the play is “Shakespeare’s Hurt Locker”.
The Hollywood action man stars alongside Fiennes in a big screen version of Shakespeare’s tale of warfare, riots and political corruption, which marks Fiennes’ directorial debut.
Butler compared it to the Oscar-winning war film at a special screening at the Curzon cinema in London’s Mayfair.
He said: “I know it would be a cliche but it really is The Hurt Locker. It’s Shakespeare’s Hurt Locker. That’s what it’s like.”
He added: “It’s set in modern day and feels so relevant with what the story’s about. All that dialogue’s been taken out and you find yourself completely engrossed.”
The Scottish star revealed that his first professional engagement as an actor had been in Coriolanus.
He said: “It’s true I’m not known for Shakespeare but it felt like a challenge.”
Fiennes attended the screening with Vanessa Redgrave, who gives an impressive performance as his mother, Volumnia.
He plays Roman general Coriolanus and battles on screen with Butler as his sworn enemy, Tullus Aufidius.
Butler said: “It was animal between us and we quickly got rid of a lot of the choreography of the fight and just went for it. As if you could rip out somebody’s eyes and put your fist down their throat and rip out their lungs.
“It was some of the hardest filming I’ve done in a long time but it was kind of cool to be doing that with Ralph Fiennes.”
Fiennes said of battling Butler: “He is very big. He was bigger and stronger than me, so it was tough. But I survived.”