COPSHOP – Interview with Gerard Butler & Alexis Louder – Highlight, interviews •


Gerard, you’ve played a lot of characters who move around a lot in big action sets, but here you play as someone trapped in a confined space and even chained to a railing for part of the movie. Does being held up change the way you approach a scene?
Gerard Butler: Yeah, it does, oddly in some ways. Partly it’s frustrating and limiting, and in other ways it frees you in a different way because you have to come a lot more from within. I feel that Vidick, my character, knows he’s there; he knows he’s not going anywhere until he has to. It’s cool to be there and look at the situation and wait like a cobra for his moment to strike, you know. You make your little nest, then you roam.

The film is a detective film, but at times it looks like a western. Would you both agree?
Yes it is certain. It stinks of the western, you know, this little town sheriff trying to do good and happen to the bad guys one at a time. She has to try to hold on because one after another they come in trying to get the person they want out, and she tries to protect them, not even knowing if she is protecting the right guy. So now it has all of those elements of a classic western, but what was great was updating it with a strong female protagonist as the sheriff.

Alexis Louder: Copshop is an original piece that contains a lot of elements, and the western is one that, at least for my character, I turned to. I watched Clint Eastwood a lot. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly and Dirty Harry gave me insight and inspiration for [my character] Valérie Jeune.

There’s a lot of gray in Vidick, he’s an assassin, but he might not be all bad. How do you approach a character like him?
Gerard Butler: It’s interesting because during filming it seemed to change. [Director] Joe Carnahan wanted to leave more moments of empathy between me and Val and loved this relationship. I did that too, but I also liked that it was more hidden. We have always given different options. I knew what I wanted, but Vidick is a person with a job to do, which is to eliminate bad, weak, corrupt and weak people. He has a certain code that he doesn’t normally stray from, but Valerie is an enigma. She’s a cop, so she’s on the way, and he enjoys doing the job and has a reputation to keep, but she’s also exceptionally brave, brave, and good, and that’s something he usually dislikes. not play with it, so it leaves them in a sort of conundrum. You give different levels of that and then in the editing room you can see what is too much and what the right amount is to keep. Much, I think, was simmering below. That’s what I liked about this guy; he watches all the time, studies, analyzes, thinks about my next move. He thinks, what am I doing here? Everyone in this movie plots all the time. They are trying to outsmart each other. Vanity is so great. There are so many people there, confined, that they cannot join. It leads to a very enjoyable experience because you know hell will break loose and it does.

How did you prepare for the roles?
Alexis Louder: I went straight to stunt training and worked with the gunslinger on the twirls and then had to go back to the script to balance the performance with the physical training. I had so much fun learning these new skills and taking on the amount of dialogue in this movie.

Gerard Butler: I’ve read a lot about sociopaths, psychopaths, hit killers, and serial killers, but the strongest thing for me is the rise in a backstory – who is this guy? How does he live the rest of his life? Is he friends with his mother? Who does he care about? What was his education? What made him want to be an assassin and want to be the person who cleans the stains on the planet? What does he think of his victims? Why does he take such pleasure in creating these elaborate diagrams? The bigger the challenge, the better it is for him. He plays comedy, so who is he playing for and how does he dress to hit his target? When you are specific like that it becomes much easier to be in that jail cell with all your opinions on what this jail means to you and what it means for your escape, what it means to take out your enemy. It means getting into his head. It means trying to manipulate others and then just having fun with it. You can have so much fun with this kind of character.

Gérard, you’ve spent a lot of time in the action / thriller genre. Do you think you’ll ever come back to the rom-com genre?

Gerard Butler: I still do all types of movies, but romantic comedies seemed to be dead recently, and that’s a shame because I love doing them. I don’t see a lot of them around, and the ones that are don’t seem to be doing so well, so hopefully they come back in fashion because that would be fun to make one. I’m so glad I made these movies, like ‘PS: I Love You’; they were so much fun to do.

Copshop is full of imperfect characters; no one is really good, is that fair to say?

Alexis Louder: I think we have human characters; some lean more towards the dark and some tilt into the dark, even those that are closer to the light contain a little darkness.

Gerard Butler: I think Valerie Young is the protagonist and hero of the film and the moral compass, but I think what’s charming and surprising is the fact that even the darkest characters have little touches of light. and humanity in them. The other cops, they put their lives in danger for the right reasons. n = Not all because you know there is corruption in there too, but I think there is heroism everywhere. There is darkness everywhere, and that’s what is cool about the movie is that you are surprised by the alliances that are made between characters that you never thought would form some kind of alliance. or connection.

Valérie is a great woman. Have you been inspired by other amazing characters?

Alexis Louder: I watched the Old Guard and Charlize Theron, and it was fire, and I wholeheartedly admire Danai Gurira in all of her roles, be it The Walking Dead or Black Panther; she is a force to be reckoned with. But there are so many that nourish me as an artist; I can’t choose just one. If I had to think of anything from my childhood, I would go back to the original Lion King. I watched this so many times when I was little and Nala left her pride to find food and ended up finding the future king and brought him back to restore their pride. She was one of my favorites.

Gerard Butler: Ripley in the Alien films and Joan Allen in The Contender. This is an amazing movie about someone who had to live out their truth and integrity, even though the poisoned political world they lived in wanted them to lie to get out of trouble, she wasn’t willing to do it. . He’s a phenomenal movie and a phenomenal character.

Interview by Cara O’Doherty

COPSHOP is in Irish cinemas from September 10


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