Common: “To be a leader you can’t just act off emotion”

The musician and budding action star talks Hunter Killer with loaded.

Loaded has always had a soft spoken for Gerard Butler, ever since he flexed his pecs as Leonidis in 300.

With Jason Statham busy working on Fast & Furious movies and films about sharks, Butler has become our go-to guy for all things action.

All of which made us seriously excited for his new submarine-set thriller Hunter Killer. It’s Crimson Tide by way of Den of Thieves, with a dash of Geostorm thrown in for good measure.

It’s also got a stellar cast that includes Gary Oldman and Common. To celebrate the film’s home release we sat down with the latter to discuss submarine movies and leadership. It got pretty intense.

loaded: What were you most excited about when you signed onto the movie?

I was most excited honestly to work with Gary Oldman. That was the most exciting thing, but also just to play a character that I had never played. To play a navy officer, this person who is a leader, but also has someone to answer to and is navigating what’s the right moves and with so much at stake, when you’re in that critical position, I wanted to play that and I take on characters where it’s like, “oh he played a navy officer, oh and now he plays a doctor over here and he playedthis masked murderer over here” I think the spectrum of life and characters I want to portray drew me also to the film.

loaded: Could you please tell us who you play and how your character fits into the Hunter Killer story?

My character’s name is John Fisk, I’m a Sergeant in the navy and I’m the person who is trying to analyse and look at the big picture and make decisions. You catch us in a story where an American sub is missing and we are like “where is it, what’s going on?” And to be in that situation and to have to figure out what’s really happening, like is it our opposition that has done something or is the sub just gone, is it lost for a minute and they’re just off track. So, I’m a person that has to navigate and be a leader when it comes to troubled situations and just making decisions and I think of John Fisk as a bigger picture type of guys. He reacts off his wisdom and experience and he represents the navy and the people of America. He’s not impulsive.

loaded: I saw the film and he was very disciplined. Not at all impulsive, he wouldn’t have got us killed

Yeah, to be a leader you can’t just act off emotion. If we walked around and just let all our emotions out on people it would be a bad world because we feel so many things throughout the day, so being in leadership if you just let your emotions out without having considering how it effects the whole it just goes in the wrong direction. Leaders have to have patience and love and compassion, they have to be able to understand and listen. And when it’s time to go to war, they’re not afraid of that too, they have to be brave and courageous and use instinct and I think that’s what I wanted to put into Fisk as a character.

loaded: Did anything interesting happen while you were shooting, or behind the scenes that audiences would be surprised to know?

Well, one thing that surprised me behind the scenes was working with Gary, I got to talk to him about all types of things. Well one day he broke out some music off his phone and it was hip hop from the 90’s and he knew every word to this really dope producer that came from the 90’s named Diamond D. Gary Oldman knew all the lyrics to this song and I was like, “how do you know this man, where did this come from?” I would never picture this, this is underground hip hop from the 90’s. Anyway, it was a great surprise and it was one of those things, like “wow that’s a secret I never would have known about you”. I actually had to film him, I filmed him on my phone singing that rap and it just made me feel good because it was a connection. It just shows people from different worlds still have things that we find in common – for lack of a better word.

loaded: And finally, for people that missed this in cinemas, why should they watch the film at home?”

Well it’s one of those thriller, drama, action movies that we all have enjoyed throughout the years. It just has a fresh take because it’s new and it has these great characters within it. But anybody who loves, Crimson Tide or those movies, or any action, good action movies that have drama to them will love this. With all that’s going on in the world it does have a little bit of reflection of that in it. I think you would just enjoy it, it’s there for you to be entertained.


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