Kerry Butler Talks Celebrity ESP, Bringing Leonardo DiCaprio To Broadway

by Ross Kenneth Urken · November 16, 2010

At the premiere of "Elf" at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, actress Kerry Butler told us about her own magical powers.

"I do have a magical quality," she revealed. "I have, like, celebrity ESP."

How so, we wondered?

"When I am walking down the street, I can be like, 'Robert Sean Leonard is going to be walking down the street now,' and then he is." Or I'll be driving in the car and be like, 'I'm gonna see Alec Baldwin in two seconds,' and then I do."

Where does it come from--some sort of elfin necromancy?

"Just one of the gifts God's given me," she said.

Another gift Butler has been granted is the opportunity to play the role of Brenda, Frank Abagnale's wholesome girlfriend, in the Broadway version of "Catch Me If You Can." Butler described the opportunity she had to meet the famous check forger as revelatory of the way Abagnale views the story line.

"We were doing something raising money for the show, and Abagnale came out, and people were asking him questions about his life, and he said, 'It's so funny that a book, a movie, a TV show have all been made about this tiny part of my life when it's something I hardly even remember and you know, I've done so much since then."

Though most people are intrigued by the way Leonardo DiCaprio played the gutsy confidence man, Butler thinks the Broadway version well get deeper into the foundational psychology behind Abagnale's actions and their ramifications. Though the tale may have been flashy in cinematic form, Butler said there's more to the musical iteration.

"[Abagnale said, 'It's a story about redemption.' It's kind of a glorified cop and robber chase kind of thing, but actually, it's a story about redemption. It's about a person who leads a life of crime, then serves his time, and the becomes involved with the FBI."

But has Abagnale written her any checks for her role?

"No, but you know, there's always opening night."

Butler then saw Marvin Hamlisch--another ESP moment, no doubt--and moseyed along.