Gerard Butler on taking a break from heroes to play a hitman in latest film

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Gerard Butler has said eschewing his usual heroic roles for a chance to play a hitman in his latest film was like “changing from prosecuting attorney to defence attorney”.

The Scottish star plays a lethal assassin in the new movie Copshop, in which he get himself arrested to hunt his target inside the confines of a small-town police station.

Butler, 51, who is best known for playing characters intent on doing the right thing in films such as 300, Law Abiding Citizen and Olympus Has Fallen and its sequels, said he embraced the chance to do something different.

He told the PA news agency: “It was another muscle to stretch creatively, to go into a much darker, brutal, ruthless, mysterious mind and have fun with that, because I normally play the guys trying to put an end to them.

“So it’s almost like changing from prosecuting attorney to defence attorney, swapping to look at things the other way.

“It’s just always fun to change it up and try something, something different.”

Butler stars opposite Frank Grillo and Alexis Louder in the film, in which a rookie cop gets caught in the crosshairs as Butler’s hitman hunts his target.

He said: “There’s so many fun, compelling, shocking characters in this movie, and they all have to face off against each other.

“I knew if could would get some great actors in there, like, you know, Alexis, and Frank, then we can really have a movie that is incredibly thrilling, exciting, compelling, shocking, hilarious, surreal, and then it just builds and builds.

“We talked about that Western, a small town sheriff, and the bad guy comes in, but then the worse guy comes in, another bad guy comes in and it just goes from bad to worse.

“There is a real pressure cooker feeling and and weirdly as the movie goes on most thrillers extend out, they get bigger, by the end this almost gets tighter and tighter and more people in a smaller space and it’s unbelievable how they can’t quite get to each other but they’re all like cobras, waiting to pounce.”

Copshop is out now in UK cinemas.

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