Gerard Butler has praised the diversity in the cast of his new eco-disaster movie ‘Geostorm’, but thinks the backlash against his previous film ‘Gods of Egypt’ – for lacking diversity – was unfair.
The Scottish actor played the Egyptian God of the Desert, Set, in Alex Proyas’ 2016 north African-set fantasy adventure, alongside a main cast made up of primarily white stars including Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Brenton Thwaites, and Geoffrey Rush.
Heavy criticism was levied at the fantasy movie throughout the promotional period, which led to the director and the movie’s distributor Lionsgate issuing apologies for not thinking about diversity during the original casting process.
This year, Ed Skrein quit his role in the forthcoming ‘Hellboy’ reboot over white-washing – because the ethnicity of his character in the comic the film is based on was originally Japanese-American – but Butler has told Yahoo Movies that he has no regrets about playing his white-washed Gods of Egypt character.
“No, because I think that was, it was, you know, I understand the movement generally, but you consider our movie, one of our leads was based on an Egyptian God [who] was not black,” he said.
“We had Ethiopians [in the film], we had Egyptians [in the film], we had all different actors from all over the place that was never really, they were from everywhere. So, I thought that was a little too much to try and damage a movie like that, I disagree.”
Despite his defence of the critically-mauled movie, Butler did say he “got the point” of the backlash and has championed the diversity in Geostorm.
The disaster film sees a team of scientists from around the globe try to save the world from an epic storm caused by malfunctioning climate controlling satellites.
“We live in a very diverse world, and by the way, actually, that was one of the main points of the movie – diverse attitudes,” the actor explained.
“It’s an international delegations of scientists, all governments from all different walks and the world. It’s everybody learning to think on the same level when it comes to higher values of bigger challenges.”
Butler said that the cast – including Jim Sturgess, Zazie Beetz, Daniel Wu, Alexandra Maria Lara and Eugenio Derbez – had to show unity just as much as the characters they play in the film.
“The actors had to come together, but also the government had to come together and get over their self-interests,” he said.
“And all these scientists – from wherever they were in the world – had to work in the same room. So yeah I think it’s all that idea of unity, as you said at the beginning, which is a super cool thing to head towards.”
‘Geostorm’ is in cinemas now. Watch a trailer below.