Gerard Butler portrays Mike Chadway, an outrageously racy, gleefully chauvinistic ‘shock jock’ who is recruited to help the ratings on A.M. Sacramento. Unfortunately, the program’s producer, Abby Richter (Katherine Heigl), finds Chadway crass and obnoxious, but with his daily segment on love and relationships, The Ugly Truth, the ratings skyrocket and she becomes resigned to the fact that he’s there to stay.
Women have loved you for so long, do you think you’re pushing your luck this time?
No, I don’t think I’m pushing my luck. Although that is something that I like to do, I don’t think I’m pushing it too far. There’s definitely a lot of me in the character, but I think it’s more about me just being boisterous and fun. I don’t expound those ideals, but I do think that there’s a lot of those values going on in both men and women, if we’re honest and frank about how we look at each other.
What do you think keeps him appealing without going over that edge?
What’s cool in both Katherine and my character is that, at the end of the day, we’re human. We’re real and we both have our vulnerabilities. So, there’s a lot of that going on under Mike’s armor, which is great. What’s so great about this movie is that it’s so ridiculous, shocking and surprising, the ways that I talk about sex, but at the end of the day, women get it and men get it too.
Did it take time for you to get into character?
The weird thing was that it took me a couple days to find my rhythm. The first day, playing the American accent and that kind of character, I was really nervous. I kept forgetting my lines. Every time I turned to Katie and had to play with her hair, I was so nervous. Once, I grabbed her breast. In the middle of the take, I said, “Did I just touch your breast?” It was a Mike Chadway move. I must have been pretty method. Every time I went to grab her hair, I forgot and it was because I was really pretty nervous about it. She’s such a charismatic woman.
With an R rating, why didn’t you go even further with the content?
I don’t think you needed it. I think you had it in the language. If there is one thing that is classy about the movie, it’s that. The ideas and the values are so clever and controversial, unexpected, surprising and hard-hitting. You don’t need to see tits and vag. It’s not necessary. There’s enough going on. This movie is so hilarious that it works from the guys and girls perspectives. They are all ideas we react to, love and hate. You have a pretty strong reaction to both sides of the coin. The rest would have been gratuitous.
Your character goes on the Craig Ferguson Show, what was the challenge of working with Craig Ferguson and maintaining your American accent?
I love Craig, but trying to keep my American accent was a nightmare. I had a great time doing that scene, but it was actually a challenge, trying to keep the accent. There’s nothing worse than being a Scots guy with an American accent. I remember once, years ago, going back to Scotland after spending a summer here, I was a law student at the time. I went back after being here for a few months, and nobody could understand a word I was saying. I remember being in this bar and speaking to this guy and he went, “You’re a f-ing Yankee.” That’s very much the Scot’s attitude. I was home recently and I said soccer instead of football. I kid you not, I was flush red for a day after. They will crucify you for that. Craig plays my best friend in a DreamWorks movie I’m doing now, called How to Train your Dragon. Normally, that would sound way more innocent than it sounds doing this interview [for this film]. It’s a DreamWorks animated movie for kids.