Gerard Butler revealed how his recent press conference at the Pentagon came about during a visit to NBC’s Late Night on Thursday.
The actor was asked by the Navy to give a press briefing about his new film Hunter Killer at the Pentagon in mid-October. The film follows a American submarine captain (Butler) who joins forces with U.S. Navy SEALs to rescue the Russian president, who’s been kidnapped by a rogue general.
After host Seth Meyers showed photos of the actor addressing reporters at the press conference, Butler joked, “Unfortunately they put in the real reporters. Not the fake ones.”
“The Navy were incredible in supporting us with this movie, and then I was invited to the Pentagon,” he said.
Butler added that he he had different expectations of how the press conference would play out. “I thought, ‘Great. I’m going to go along. I’m gonna get a trip around the Pentagon and they’re gonna show me around.’ And they said, ‘And if you can just do a press conference at the end,”‘ he said. “And they gave me information about the Navy, so I’m thinking I’m more defending them, saying, ‘Don’t worry. You didn’t spend any money to necessarily deviate from their missions.'”
“And as we get there, I look out and I go, ‘I recognize this room, though.’ And then I walk out and I look behind me and that’s the Pentagon sign,” he recalled. “And I see Barbara Starr of CNN and the first question is Saudi Arabia. The second question is, ‘How do you solve Saudi Arabia?'”
Butler admitted that he was unsure of how to answer the politically charged questions. “I’m like, ‘Okay, I don’t know. Did we get the same memo?'” he said. “It was 32 minutes. 32 minutes at the Pentagon and I still didn’t quite appreciate it until afterwards when I saw photos and it is me standing in front of the panel. I know that sounds stupid, but I really didn’t appreciate it until I see the photos and I go, ‘No, I was actually doing a press conference.'”
Meyers responded, “I just like to think of an editor saying, ‘Who gave these quotes?’ and they were like, ‘It was Gerard Butler today.'”
The actor then reflected on reading headlines about the press conference. “There was even a headline saying — I saw it after — but it said, ‘Gerard Butler speaks live from the Pentagon in a few minutes,'” he recalled. “I see that with Trump, but ‘Gerard Butler Speaks Live’? Like what’s he got to say?”
“I will say, five years ago, that crawl on CNN I would think is weird,” said Meyers. “Now, anything, I’m like whatever. That’s not crazier than anything else.”
Watch the interview below.