‘Playing for Keeps’ Five Film Facts

Adam Pockross
Movie Talk

It must be really hard to be Gerard Butler in "Playing for Keeps," opening wide this weekend. The poor bloke has to fight off beauties like Catherine Zeta-Jones and Uma Thurman in order to win back the love of his ex-wife, Stacey, played by "It" girl Jessica Biel. We all know love will find a way, but here are Five Facts about "Playing for Keeps" you may not know.

First-Time Mom

1. This is the first time 30-year-old Biel has ever played a mom on the big screen. But has playing a mom in the film got the recent newlywed thinking about having kids with husband Justin Timberlake? "Yeah sure," Biel told Good Morning America, "Especially, because the kid, Noah (Lomax), who played my son, is literally the coolest kid I've ever met."

[Related: Get local tickets and showtimes for 'Playing for Keeps']

'Playing for Keeps' Featurette: Soccer

A Guy Who Does Tricks

2. To prepare for the role of European Football star George Dryer, Butler played a ton of soccer while training with professionals. Not that he was opposed to that prospect. Butler grew up with the game, and used to be quite a good youth player.  "When I was younger, I was a great player, but I was never a skillful player in terms of the kind of guy who could do tricks and keep it up. Now I'm the kind of guy who can do tricks and keep it up." You can see Gerard's passion for the game in the featurette above.

Late Night Inspiration

3. The idea for the film came to screenwriter Robbie Fox when he was coaching a little league baseball team. One morning, at about 2:00 a.m., Fox sent out a mass email to the team's parents, reminding them about practice. "At 2:01 a.m., I got a 'ding' back on my computer. It was from one of the moms, and she wrote back -- and this line is now typed by Catherine Zeta-Jones's character -- 'Hi, Coach! Gee, you're up late tonight…' I didn't respond, but then I got another one a couple of minutes later, and it said, I know you're there, Coach. You can run, but you can't hide!' That was the start of thinking about this story."

[Related: Exclusive 'Playing for Keeps' Featurette -- Cast]

Home Run

4. Since Fox coached baseball, the script was originally about a former baseball player. So why did Butler and his producing partner feel compelled to change it? "It felt like an international market wouldn't necessarily work. And it felt like an opportunity for me to be Scottish for once, and to play a soccer player," Butler told ComingSoon.net.

'Playing for Keeps' Insider Access

Gerard Butler, Esq.

5. Butler isn't just another pretty face, he's also got a darn good head on his shoulders (and no, we're not talking about his flowing Scottish locks). Butler used to be a lawyer, after graduating from Law school with honors and being the president of the school's law society.  Alas, the acting bug bit too hard and he gave up lawyering to pursue his dreams. Nowadays, he uses his negotiating skills to wrangle fantastic casts and directors for his production company. You can see Butler's cross-examination skills in our interview above, when he puts me on the hot seat.

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