Gerard Butler Opens Up About the Emotional Process of Rebuilding His Home After California Wildfire
Gerard Butler has had a hard couple of years.
On Tuesday, the Scottish actor opened up about his difficult experiences — including the destruction of his home in the California wildfires last year and a near-fatal motorcycle accident in 2017 — saying that what he’s been through has led him to “reevaluate.”
“These last two years, they were interesting and hard,” Butler, 49, revealed, speaking with Terri Seymour of Extra. “A lot of stuff happened like the fire, motorcycle accident, other stuff went on, and a lot of it happened very close together and it just made me reevaluate.”
The Angel Has Fallen star went on to say that although it has been nearly a year since the Woolsey Fire that burnt down his Malibu home last November, the process of rebuilding is a long and emotional one. In fact, construction hasn’t even begun.
“It’s taking its time,” he said. “It’s a very sad and emotional experience when you walk down to your house and you see it still burning, you know, or part of it is. I lost part of it and… all the land that’s gone as well.”
“You go, ‘Okay, I’ll rebuild,’ but then it takes so long just to get the clearances because of the toxicity and before they can even clear out the rubble you need permits for that and then the foundations are gone so you’ve got to dig out the foundations and then they’ve got to take the topsoil off,” Butler said of the painstaking process.
“So it’s a long time before you even get close to planning and starting to rebuild, so we still haven’t started to rebuild,” the actor revealed.
Butler also spoke of Malibu’s strong sense of “community spirit,” which he has long felt a part of. After the fires last year, the 300 star hosted a fundraiser to help the rebuilding process throughout California, with proceeds from the star-studded event going to The Malibu Foundation.
“It’s tough, and it’s tough for a lot of people out in that community, but it’s a beautiful community in Malibu, you know, with a lot of strength and I think that’s shown through,” he added.
Back in November, Butler expressed his grief for everyone affected by the devastating fires — the Woolsey Fire burned for 13 days before reaching containment, and has been called the worst wildfire in Los Angeles’ history.
“Returned to my house in Malibu after evacuating,” he wrote in an Instagram post of himself in front of the remains of his house. “Heartbreaking time across California. Inspired as ever by the courage, spirit and sacrifice of firefighters. Thank you @LosAngelesFireDepartment. If you can, support these brave men and women at SupportLAFD.org.”
In another post, he urged his followers to help those less fortunate than himself, saying he was one of the “lucky ones.”
“Driving around Point Dume on Saturday. My heart aches for all those who lost their homes and their lives in California,” Butler wrote in the caption. “I was one of the lucky ones, my home was only partially destroyed.”
“A lot of people lost everything and will have to rebuild from scratch,” he continued. “I am ok and so grateful for all of the well wishes. Please turn your support to those who need it most here, and throughout California. There’s a Go Fund Me to help people across the state affected by the fires. Please join me if you can.”
As Los Angeles nears the one year mark from the tragic 2018 blazes, the county continues its rebuilding efforts.