Playing for Keeps’ Gerard Butler talks Jessica Biel, soccer skills, and why he now wants kids

Nov 30, 2012 at 9:00 a.m. ET

Gerard Butler plays a ladies’ man with a heart of gold in the holiday rom-com, Playing For Keeps. Find out why the role hit so close to home in our interview with the sexy Scottish actor.

Gerard Butler, Playing for Keeps

In Playing for Keeps, Gerard Butler plays a conflicted father, ready to settle down and move past his bachelor prime, but unable to stay out of trouble with women constantly throwing themselves at him.

Sound familiar? Well, it’s probably because the role so closely parallels the apparent struggle in Butler’s own life: Balancing the desire for a family and being a Hollywood heartthrob.


“There’s definitely some mirroring going on as [my] life as an actor and George’s life as a soccer star,” Butler told us of his character, an aging pro athlete who ends up coaching his son’s soccer team. “They’re all throwing themselves at him. What are you going to do? He’s trying his best. A man’s got to be a man. You can’t help it.”

Why ladies love Gerard Butler >>

Hey, we can’t really blame him. But when we hear that he wants kids someday, and would even be into coaching their soccer team in real life, a girl can’t help but dream.

“I see myself being a dad,” Butler told SheKnows. “I could coach a sports team. All the kids, they were amazing. I had the best time playing with them and hanging out with them.”

But we’re jumping way too far ahead here. Butler will have to find himself a woman first! Rumored fling Jessica Biel is obviously off the market. Whether or not that reported hook-up actually went down — we’re not going to speculate here — the two are currently on great terms.

Butler had an abundance of nice things to stay about the starlet during our chat.

“Jessica is amazing,” Butler said. “She’s really talented. This is the best role I’ve ever seen her in. She’s so sensitive, and she’s sexy, and she’s beautiful. But she’s sweet, she’s protective, and she’s compassionate and she’s hilarious. She really had it all. I was constantly like, ‘This girl is good.’ I had a great time with her. She’s a fun girl to hang out with. It was nice.”

Wow, quite the compliment. Butler wasn’t too bad himself though, and watching him turning tricks on the soccer field was pretty impressive.

“I played soccer my whole life when I was younger. I was a player that scored goals. I was never the tricky player, so in this film I want to be more of that, because the camera’s only going to see you for a second.”

But is he as good as David Beckham, who is referenced several times in the film?

“No,” Gerard answered. “We almost had him in the movie, and his kid. It would have been amazing.”

Butler and Beckham shirtless on the soccer field? It certainly would have.

Be sure to catch Gerard Butler and Jessica Biel in Playing for Keeps, in theaters today!

Photo credit: Film District