CATEGORIES Movie NewsThis week marks the release of Coriolanus, co-starring Ralph Fiennes and Gerard Butler. Yes, you read that right. Co-starring Ralph Fiennes and Gerard Butler. I can't think of two less likely co-stars, aside from maybe Bryan Cranston (apres-Breaking Bad Bryan Cranston, that is) and Cuba Gooding Jr. (post-Boat Trip), who are sharing the screen in Red Tails, also hitting theatres this week.
But back to Fiennes and Butler: Don't they seem like they come from completely different worlds? Fiennes is the classic actor's actor -- the type who gravitates towards complex roles that continue to challenge him as an actor. Butler, on the other hand, seems more at home in cheesy action flicks like Gamer or playing the "typical male" in silly rom-coms like The Bounty Hunter and The Ugly Truth. Sure, he's done period pieces before, but even in 300 he was showcasing his rock-hard abs more than his acting range.
The curious part about the casting is that Fiennes directed Coriolanus, too -- so he presumably had a role in selecting Butler to play his enemy. There's no denying that Butler has mass appeal, so casting him could be quite the clever move to attract a broader audience to this modern take on a Shakespeare classic. Butler himself has described it as "Shakespeare's Hurt Locker." If that's the case, he does seem well-suited to such a project.
You'd be forgiven for wondering why I care. Seeing photos of Ralph Fiennes and Gerard Butler acting all chummy clashes with my idea of who Ralph Fiennes should appear in movies with. I haven't felt this way since Maid in Manhattan! I expect to see him sharing the screen with other serious actors like Vanessa Redgrave, Emma Thompson and Liam Neeson -- not J-Lo and Butler! Not that there's anything wrong with that. Do you think Fiennes is pals with Butler? Maybe they go pub-hopping together, chatting up ladies and breaking up bar fights (or, even better, starting bar fights!) Don't pretend you've never wondered about what Voldemort does in his spare time.
I've obviously thought about this too much -- so on to something completely different! OK, it's not completely different. But there will be no further speculation about what Ralph Fiennes gets up to during his downtime. Instead, you will find a list of five other recent co-stars who seem like strange bedfellows to me.
1. Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill in Moneyball. Remember when the promotional pics started circulating before you even knew what Moneyball was about? Don't act like your initial reaction wasn't exactly as follows: "What in tarnation are Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill doing together! They're in a movie together? No way! Well what the hell could that movie possibly be about! Baseball? Oh. OK. Maybe I can see it. Maybe. They still look weird together."
2. Eddie Murphy and Ben Stiller in Tower Heist. I can't imagine any scenario where these two would be found in the same room together, aside from parties hosted by mutual Hollywood friends. Even with a common goal, as their characters share in Tower Heist, I really don't believe these two would spend any time alone together. Eddie seems so fun, and Ben seems so.. well, not fun. He's been so serious since his Zoolander days -- even in the funny stuff! I picture him tsk-tsk-ing disapprovingly as Eddie tells hilarious off-colour jokes.
3. Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman in Trespass. I never thought I'd see those two names splashed across the top of a movie poster together. Nic & Nic. Trespass seemed like an unusual choice for Kidman -- she usually gravitates towards more Oscar-baity roles. Maybe she was moved by the story of Cage's own brush with a nude, Fudgesicle-eating intruder.
4. Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel in Bad Teacher. I know I may be in the minority here, but I actually loved this movie -- and Diaz and Segel together! But if you had told me ten years ago that the lovable, Rush-obsessed drummer from Freaks & Geeks would play the love interest of smmmmmokin' hot Cameron Diaz from The Mask, I would have dismissed you as someone full of nonsense.
5. Selena Gomez and Leighton Meester in Monte Carlo. You can see the pain on Meester's face during her red carpet walks promoting this thing. While her Gossip Girl co-star Blake Lively was gallivanting around the world with Leonardo DiCaprio, Meester was grinning through gritted teeth as the co-star in a Selena Gomez vehicle. Blair Waldorf wouldn't approve.