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Gerard Butler – MovieActors.com


Butler in Machine Gun Preacher.

About Gerard Butler (1969 – )

Gerard Butler was born in Paisley in Renfrewshire, Scotland, the youngest of three children of Margaret and Edward Butler, a bookmaker. Butler is from a Catholic family of Irish descent. The family moved to Montreal, Quebec, when he was six months old. When Gerard was 18 months old his mother returned to Scotland with him when her marriage broke down.

Butler was head boy at St. Mirin's & St Margaret's High School in Paisley and achieved respectable grades, which were good enough to win him a place to study law at the University of Glasgow. He also attended Scottish Youth Theatre while a teenager. Butler did not see his father again until he was 16 years old, when Edward Butler called to meet him at a Glasgow restaurant. After this meeting, Butler cried for hours, and said later: "That emotion showed me how much pain can sit in this body of yours; pain and sorrow that you don’t know you have until it is unleashed."

Butler became close to his father after this reunion. At about the same time, he accepted Glasgow University's offer to study law. During his time as a student, he became the President of the university law society, a position Butler later said he "kind of blagged my way into". He also sang in a rock band called Speed. Before he graduated, his father was diagnosed with cancer and died. He would say of this period in his life: "I had gone from a 16-year-old who couldn't wait to grasp life to a 22-year-old who didn't care if he died in his sleep."

Before his final year of law school, Butler took a year off to live in California, mostly living in Venice Beach, working at different jobs, traveling often, and, according to him, drinking heavily. Of this time of his life Butler said, "I was out of control, and justifying it with this idea that 'I'm young, this is life. This is me just being boisterous." He returned to Scotland after a year to finish his final year of law school.

In London, Butler held a string of odd jobs until being cast by actor and director Steven Berkoff in a stage production of Coriolanus. He was cast as Ewan McGregor's character Renton in the stage adaptation of Trainspotting, the same play that originally inspired him to become an actor. His film debut came as Billy Connolly's character's younger brother in Mrs. Brown (1997).

His film career continued with small roles, first in the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) and then in Russell Mulcahy's Tale of the Mummy (1998). In 2000, Butler was cast in two breakthrough roles, the first of which was Attila the Hun in the American TV miniseries Attila (2001). Although the producers wanted a known actor to play the part, they eventually chose Butler. He was cast as Dracula in Dracula 2000 (2000).

He then appeared in Reign of Fire (2002) as Creedy and as Terry Sheridan in Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003), alongside Angelina Jolie. In the role of Andre Marek in the big-screen adaptation of Michael Crichton's novel Timeline (2003), Butler portrayed an archaeologist sent back in time with a team of students to rescue a colleague. In 2003, director Joel Schumacher was deciding on the principal casting for the film The Phantom of the Opera, and thought of Butler, whom he'd seen earlier in Dracula 2000. Butler, who had had no musical experience other than singing in a rock band while studying to be a lawyer, was surprised at the interest, but immediately began taking lessons with a vocal coach. He did an acting audition with Schumacher, and a singing audition with Lloyd Webber, both of whom were impressed. Despite the mixed reviews received by the film, Butler was praised for his work.

Subsequent projects included Dear Frankie (2005), The Game of Their Lives (2005) and Beowulf & Grendel (2005).

In 2007, Butler starred as Spartan King Leonidas in the Warner Brothers production 300, which many consider to be his breakthrough role. Butler, who said he "wanted to look really strong" in the film, underwent a grueling, high-intensity workout regimen for four months prior to the film shoot. In 2007, he also appeared in Butterfly on a Wheel alongside Pierce Brosnan and Maria Bello, which aired on network TV under the title Shattered, and in the romantic comedy P.S. I Love You with Hilary Swank. In 2008, he appeared in Nim's Island and RocknRolla. In 2009, he starred in the Mark Neveldine/Brian Taylor movie Gamer, The Ugly Truth and Law Abiding Citizen, which he also co-produced. In 2010 he starred in the action/comedy The Bounty Hunter with Jennifer Aniston, and did a voice-over for the 2010 animated film How to Train Your Dragon as Stoick the Vast.

On 18 December 2011, while filming Chasing Mavericks, Butler was hospitalized after nearly drowning when he was pulled under by big waves. He was taken to Stanford University Medical Center and later released. In August of 2011, it was reported that while filming Playing for Keeps, Butler was writing songs and in the process of recording an album. Marilyn Manson, Jack Black and Johnny Depp were supposedly urging him to become a rock star. In a 2013 interview with Parade, however, on being asked if he'd spoken with Manson or Depp about rock music, Butler said that he'd "never had conversations with Marilyn Manson or Johnny Depp. Though any conversation with either of them would be awesome!"

In 2013, Butler starred in the action thriller Olympus Has Fallen, with co-stars Aaron Eckhart and Morgan Freeman. While filming the movie, Butler says he broke two bones in his neck, but didn't realize it until he had an MRI scan.

Gerard Butler's notable movie credits include...

Year Movie Role
1997 Mrs. Brown Archie Brown
1997 Tomorrow Never Dies Leading Seaman – HMS Devonshire
1998 Tale of the Mummy Burke
1999 Fast Food Jacko
1999 One More Kiss Sam
1999 The Cherry Orchard Yasha
2000 Dracula 2000 Count Dracula/Judas Iscariot
2001 Harrison's Flowers Chris Kumac
2001 Jewel of the Sahara Captain Charles Belamy
2001 Please! Peter
2002 Shooters Jackie Junior
2002 Reign of Fire Creedy
2003 Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life Terry Sheridan
2003 Timeline André Marek
2004 The Phantom of the Opera Erik, The Phantom
2005 The Game of Their Lives Frank Borghi
2005 Beowulf & Grendel Beowulf
2005 Dear Frankie The Stranger
2006 Shadow Company James Ashcroft (voice)
2006 Wrath of Gods Himself
2007 300 King Leonidas
2007 Butterfly on a Wheel Neil Randall
2007 P.S. I Love You Gerry Kennedy
2008 Nim's Island Jack Rusoe / Alex Rover
2008 RocknRolla One Two
2009 Tales of the Black Freighter The Captain (voice)
2009 The Ugly Truth Mike Chadway
2009 Gamer Kable/John Tillman
2009 Law Abiding Citizen Clyde Shelton
2010 The Bounty Hunter Milo Boyd
2010 How to Train Your Dragon Stoick the Vast (voice)
2010 Legend of the Boneknapper Dragon Stoick (voice)
2011 Coriolanus Tullus Aufidius
2011 Na Nai'a Legend of the Dolphins Narrator
2011 Machine Gun Preacher Sam Childers
2011 Gift of the Night Fury Stoick (voice)
2012 Chasing Mavericks Frosty Hesson
2012 Playing for Keeps George Dryer
2013 Movie 43 Leprechaun 1 & 2
2013 Olympus Has Fallen Mike Banning
2014 How to Train Your Dragon 2 Stoick the Vast (voice)
2014 300: Rise of an Empire King Leonidas
2015 The Peanuts Movie Truck Driver Man (voice)
2016 London Has Fallen Mike Banning
2016 Geostorm Jake

Gerard Butler's television credits include...

Year Show/Series Role
1998 The Young Person's Guide to Becoming a Rock Star Marty Claymore
1998 Little White Lies Part 1 Peter
1998 Little White Lies Part 2 Peter
1999 Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married Gus
2001 An Unsuitable Job for a Woman Tim Bolton
2001 Attila Attila the Hun
2002 The Jury Johnnie Donne
2009 Saturday Night Live Host / Various
2016 Galaxy World of Alisa Selge (voice)
Gerard Butler in Playing for Keeps (2012).
Gerard Butler in The Phantom of the Opera (2004).
Butler, with Finley Jacobsen, in Olympus Has Fallen (2013).
Butler in Law Abiding Citizen (2009).
Gerard with Aniston in The Bounty Hunter (2010).
Butler in Coriolanus (2011).
Butler in Chasing Mavericks (2012).
Gerard Butler in 300 (2006).

Memorable Quotes

“In Scotland I'm just like a lot of other guys, but in America I'm seen as a very strong, masculine guy.”

“On acting: Just make them feel something, because I think so many of us, including myself, spend too much time not feeling enough, you know?”

“[on the masculinity of UK actors] It's that deep voice, the intensity, the gravitas. You just hear the Scottish voice and you can hear a man with a set of heavy feet that are connected to the ground. When they smile, they really smile. When they stare, they really stare. There is just something burning about them.”

“[on enjoying his physique while it lasted for the first 300]: There is a certain amount of spraying that goes on to get you tan. The darker you get, the more your muscles show. They're still your muscles but we'd spray them to enhance them. We'd still work hard. By the end of the movie, I was cut so much that I could stick my fingers into the ripples of my abs. I would flash everyone with my six-pack--it was an eight-pack, actually. I was like, "check this out," because you are never going to see this again.”

“[on when he refused to reprise his iconic role in the sequel to 300 (2006)] I was tempted, but it wasn't the same Leonidas as in the first movie. It was just a couple of scenes of political conversation, and that's not the way I wanted him to be remembered.”

“On solitude: I love to spend a lot of time on my own. I can seriously go into my own head and often love to let myself travel where I don't know where I'm going. I always felt that that was his kind of form of escape, in a way.”

Did You Know

Graduated from Glasgow University with a law degree

Is constantly trying to quit smoking employing the use of hypnotism, patches, lasers and most general methods. He did quit for six months while filming 300 (2006), but started again towards the end of filming.

His name is not pronounced, like the typical Gerard, with a long "A". "Ger" is pronounced like 'chair', with the "ard" pronounced like 'errd'. It is pronounced like 'chair-errd'.

During production of The Phantom of the Opera (2004), it took him four hours to get fitted with his makeup and prosthetics.

Worked in a variety of jobs including a waiter, a telemarketer and a demonstrator of how toys work at fairs between acting roles.

Did not start acting until he was twenty-five years old.

Thanks to the popularity of his role as Spartan King Leonidas and the use of his lines during athletic events at Michigan State University, Butler was a guest at their Midnight Madness and homecoming American football game.