By Olivier Knox, Reena Ninan, Richard Coolidge, and Jordyn Phelps
Imagine, if you will, that terrorists seize control of the White House and take the president hostage–that’s the plot of Gerard Butler and Aaron Eckhart’s new action-packed film Olympus Has Fallen. Now, imagine showing that film to a theater full of Secret Service agents and politicians–that’s what happened at the film’s DC premiere.
Butler and Eckhart jokingly tell Top Line that they were worried they might “be stoned” at the premiere but were pleasantly surprised. “They loved it,” Butler says about the audience’s reaction.
In the film, Butler plays the role of a disgraced Secret Service agent who gets demoted following a tragic accident that results in the death of the first lady, played by Ashley Judd. He then finds himself in a unique position to save the day and redeem himself after terrorists take the president hostage.
“At the end of the day, we made entertainment, but it’s the reality of the world that we live in with the global threat of terrorism that this is a possibility…In the beginning you could feel the, the silence among everybody because it’s so real the way it’s set up, but then you move through it and you come out of there with so much patriotism and you feel inspired because really at the end of the day the essence of the story, it’s a hero’s journey,” says Butler.
With rumors swirling that co-star Ashley Judd may challenge Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for his seat, Top Line asked Butler and Eckhart to weigh in on the potential political campaign.
“I mean it just takes a lot of guts to get in the ring. So you have to give her props for that. I mean I’m, just, stand up for that. And, I think she’s great. She’s smart. We had a great time with her. She laughed. She flirted with you a little bit too much I thought, my wife, the first lady,” says Eckhart, who plays the role of the president.
For more of the interview with Butler and Eckhart, including more on Judd’s potential Senate run, check out this episode of Top Line.
ABC’s Eric Wray, Alexandra Dukakis, Betsy Klein, Tom D’Annibale, and Mark Banks contributed to this episode.