October 8th, 2009
11:14 AM ET

Foxx and Butler on the justice system

When you get an opportunity to sit down with Gerard Butler and Oscar winner Jamie Foxx, you don't walk. You run! And that's exactly what I did!

I was given the difficult task (cough) of interviewing both of them at the junket for their new film "Law Abiding Citizen," which opens nationwide on October 16th. I have interviewed Foxx many times before. He's always animated, and bounces in and out of character at times. But overall his interviews are definitely memorable. I'd never met Butler before, but being that he is a great actor and not bad on the eyes I was certainly looking forward to it!

I knew the interview was going to go very well when Butler answered my first question about what it was like to work with Foxx and director F. Gary Gray like this: "They loved working with me! I think it was a hugely beneficial experience for them.  No, I'm joking." Butler seemed to be in a joking mood when talking about his co-stars, but got serious when we turned the talk to his film and the justice system in America.

His character takes revenge and becomes a killer after his family is murdered and one of the killers essentially gets off because the prosecutor seeks a plea bargain. Butler confided that even though he is on the other side of law in the flick, he actually favors plea bargaining. Butler studied law back in his homeland of Scotland, and has an honors law degree and a diploma in legal practice. "There's a lot to be said for plea bargaining... in terms of saving huge resources to the legal system with unnecessary court cases."

Foxx's take on the U.S. justice system, after playing a very myopic district attorney, was a little different. He said "Plea deals are anything that you make of them. You can make any kind of plea deal you want." Since the movie can be considered as an argument against plea deals, I asked Foxx what he wanted audiences to take away from the film, and he was brief, funny and to the point: "All I can tell you is this, don't ever go to jail. Don't go to jail because you will be sitting behind somebody braiding somebody's hair."

Enough said. Gotta love Foxx for keeping it real with humor!

soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. JR Jake

    The legal system is no different than the medical system. You try to be precise but there will be periods where its not as exact as you counted on. The difference I believe is that it is usually one lawyer who takes a client and tries to get this person off; whereas the physician might combine with multiple others to treat the patient.

    There is a certain amount of passion, tenacity and commitment that has to go into it, and because our legal system is not exact some things will fall through the cracks. The courthouses and the judges are overwhelmed, understaffed and the time is limited in what they can do in the time allocated.

    As a citizen each of us needs to do everything we can to avoid being dragged into court because the dynamics are cumbersome and not always fair. Plea bargains I believe should be used more, but than you have defense atty's that want to win for their client and will encourage them to 'fight it'. The clients have to trust in their lawyer and the system because that is all we have.

    It fascinates me that we have so much legal issues as a society as compared with others, and I have to wonder why that is? I don't believe you will find the same type of legal activity in Europe, China, Russia and other places why is that?

    October 9, 2009 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ga

    If you have money, you won't go to jail for long, or at all. If you're poor, watch out. The same as politics. If you don't contribute to a politicans campaign, they pay no attention to you or anything you say.

    October 9, 2009 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bill

    Wow... can I have my 2 minutes back now?

    October 9, 2009 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  4. bcoles

    Like most things in america, the legal systems is as corrupt as big business, the goverment and any situation that allows money to influence disicions.

    October 9, 2009 at 6:59 am | Report abuse |

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