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Gerard Butler Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Trade Mark (2) | Trivia (34) | Personal Quotes (27)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 13 November 1969Paisley, Scotland, UK
Birth NameGerard James Butler
Nickname Gerry
Height 6' 2" (1.88 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Gerard Butler was born in Paisley, Scotland, to Margaret and Edward Butler, a bookmaker. His family is of Irish origin. Gerard spent some of his youth in Canada, but was mostly raised, along with his older brother and sister, in his hometown of Paisley. His parents divorced when he was a child, and he and his siblings were raised primarily by their mother, who later remarried. He had no contact with his father between the ages of two and 16 years old, after which time they became close. His father passed away when Gerard was in his early 20s. Butler went on to attend Glasgow University, where he studied to be a lawyer/solicitor. He was president of the school's law society thanks to his outgoing personality and great social skills.

His acting career began when he was approached in a London coffee shop by actor Steven Berkoff, who later appeared alongside Butler in Attila (2001), who gave him a role in a stage production of "Coriolanus". After that, Butler decided to give up law for acting. He was cast as Ewan McGregor's character "Renton" in the stage adaptation of Trainspotting. His film debut was as Billy Connolly's younger brother in Mrs Brown (1997). While filming the movie in Scotland, he was enjoying a picnic with his mother near the River Tay when they heard the shouts of a young boy, who had been swimming with a friend, who was in some trouble. Butler jumped in and saved the young boy from drowning. He received a Certificate of Bravery from the Royal Humane Society. He felt he only did what anyone in the situation would have done.

His film career continued with small roles, first in the "James Bond" movie, Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), and then Russell Mulcahy's Tale of the Mummy (1998). In 2000, Butler was cast in two breakthrough roles, the first being "Attila the Hun" in the USA Network mini-series, Attila (2001). The film's producers wanted a known actor to play the part but kept coming back to Butler's screen tests and decided he was their man. He had to lose the thick Scottish accent, but managed well. Around the time "Attila" was being filmed, casting was in progress for Wes Craven's new take on the "Dracula" legacy. Also wanting a known name, Butler wasn't much of a consideration, but his unending tenacity drove him to hounding the producers. Eventually, he sent them a clip of his portrayal of "Attila". Evidently, they saw something because Dracula 2000 (2000) was cast in the form of Butler. Attila's producers, thinking that his big-screen role might help with their own film's ratings, finished shooting a little early so he could get to work on Dracula 2000 (2000). Following these two roles, Butler developed quite a fan base, an Internet site and began appearing on lists everywhere.

Since then, he has appeared in Reign of Fire (2002) as "Creedy" and Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003) as "Terry Sheridan", alongside Angelina Jolie. The role that garnered him the most attention from both moviegoers and movie makers, alike, was that of "Andre Marek" in the big-screen adaptation of Michael Crichton's novel, Timeline (2003). Butler played an archaeologist who was sent back in time with a team of students to rescue a colleague. Last year, he appeared in Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical, The Phantom of the Opera (2004), playing the title character in the successful adaptation of the stage musical. It was a role that brought him much international attention. Other projects include Dear Frankie (2004), The Game of Their Lives (2005) and Beowulf & Grendel (2005).

In 2007, he starred as Spartan "King Leonidas" in the Warner Bros. production 300 (2006), based on the Frank Miller graphic novel, and Shattered (2007), co-starring Pierce Brosnan and Maria Bello, which aired on network TV under the title, "Shattered". He most recently starred in P.S. I Love You (2007), with Academy Award-winner Hilary Swank.

In 2007, he appeared in Nim's Island (2008) and RocknRolla (2008), and completed the new Mark Neveldine / Brian Taylor film, Gamer (2009). His next films included The Ugly Truth (2009), co-starring Katherine Heigl, which began filming in April 2008, The Bounty Hunter (2010), How to Train Your Dragon (2010), Chasing Mavericks (2012) and Olympus Has Fallen (2013). Butler is also a relative of rising animator and film director Mark Flood.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: CAA

Trade Mark (2)

Scottish accent
Gravelly, commanding voice

Trivia (34)

He is Scottish, but is of partial Irish ancestry. He has also mentioned that, because of this, his family does not have a tartan.
First stage role was in Coriolanus. Poked in the eye with a wooden stake during rehearsals for the play.
On the first day of shooting his film debut in Mrs Brown (1997), he had to run naked into a freezing sea and, as a result, developed hypothermia. Later during the filming, he saved a young boy from drowning in the river Tay and received a Certificate Of Bravery from The Royal Humane Society.
Graduated from Glasgow University with a law degree
Did not see his father from the age of 2 until he turned 16.
Was once rumored to be the next James Bond (after Pierce Brosnan). [April 2001]
Was confirmed for a role in Mindhunters (2004), but chose to drop out of it because of his prior commitment to Timeline (2003). The filming schedules of the two films overlapped. Jonny Lee Miller with whom Butler co-starred in Dracula 2000 (2000) stepped in to take his Mindhunter role.
Was a presenter at the 2003 MTV Europe Music Awards with fellow Scotsman Billy Boyd.
Was at one time the lead singer for a Scottish rock band named Speed, although music eventually became his second love after acting.
Has done five films in which his character's name is in the title: Dracula 2000 (2000), Attila (2001), The Phantom of the Opera (2004), Beowulf & Grendel (2005), and Burns (2006).
Cried while talking about the Phantom's loneliness to The Phantom of the Opera (2004) director Joel Schumacher.
Had the rock-and-roll voice that Andrew Lloyd Webber always wanted to hear as the Phantom.
Jokes about preferring the mask side of his face to the regular side of his face.
Sang in a rock band whilst training to be a lawyer.
He has quickly gained a reputation as one of the nicest actors around, as he always takes time to socialize with fans and hangs out with crew members as much as co-stars on film sets.
When he auditioned for the role of "Aslan the Lion" in the Walden Media/Disney production of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005), he asked, "This isn't going to be like the BBC puppet Aslan, right? Because, if so, I'm leaving right now".
He has a legal degree from Glasgow University, but gave up on that career after being fired from a law firm just one week before he was qualified to practice law.
Was chosen as the most attractive man of 2005 by Hello! Magazine
Prefers to be called Gerry. He does this because he notices that many people (especially Americans) struggle with pronouncing "Gerard".
Divides his time between London, New York and Los Angeles.
Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#10). [2007].
His favorite actor is Christian Bale.
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.
Along with Ben Stiller, Demi Moore, Susan Sarandon and director Paul Haggis, he visited a camp for internally displaced persons managed by Sean Penn and his Jenkins-Penn Humanitarian Relief Organization in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. [April 2010]
He is a huge fan of Glasgow Celtic Football club. He played for them in 2011, in a charity match against Manchester United.
He was rescued after a surfing accident on December 18, 2011 in northern California. He and three others were filming a scene for Chasing Mavericks (2012) when they were hit by a freak set of waves. He was held underwater and dragged over a rocky reef until he was rescued by a safety worker on jet-skis. He was hospitalized for minor injuries and released.
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.
Used to frequent a weekly Jazz night in Beverly Hills hosted by Danny Masterson. Samantha Ronson, Bo Barrett, Ben Foster, Kirsten Dunst, Adam Scarimbolo were all frequently spotted there.
He stated in an interview, before finally quitting drinking at age 27, that his wild drinking antics would involve smashing bottles over his own head, running in front of cars, and he once woke up in Paris, miles from where he'd been at a party, covered in gashes and blood and, to this day, he has no idea what happened in that incident.
Worked in a variety of jobs including a waiter, a telemarketer and a demonstrator of how toys work at fairs between acting roles.
Has no formal acting training.
Did not start acting until he was twenty-five years old.
Before his final year of law school, Butler took a year off to live in California. He mostly lived in Venice Beach, working at different jobs, traveling often, and, according to him, drinking heavily, at one point being arrested for alcohol-related disorderly conduct.

Personal Quotes (27)

On his new acting career: "[During] some of the most miserable periods of my life, people thought I was very happy. And now that I'm actually happier, I don't have to show it. I'm more comfortable with myself."
In Scotland I'm just like a lot of other guys, but in America I'm seen as a very strong, masculine guy.
You've got to move on and it's a shame because there's a part of you that thinks, 'I was so attached to that movie and its success and what it meant to me.' There's a part of you that wants to pull that off again. I heard some backroom chatter about another 300 (2006) movie. I don't know if it would be a sequel or a prequel but I haven't read anything. I can't see it myself, the idea in general. I'm not sure which way they would go with that. When Russell Crowe did Gladiator (2000), he didn't come back and do another one. Like mine, his character died.
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.
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 his family back home in Scotland] I go home and they'll cook Christmas ­dinner, and she's like, 'C'mon, give a hand, come on, wash the dishes or put the dishes away.' And I'm like, 'Mom, I am a major Hollywood movie star, I can't be doing this. It's embarrassing.'
Sometimes I finish a movie and I get used to a certain lifestyle and when that stops I get a bit lost for about a week. 'No one is bringing me lunch anymore - I've got to go do that myself?' I lose the main point of my focus. Often all I want to do is travel and just get the hell out of there. But I'm actually boring really.
I saw this movie [How to Train Your Dragon (2010)] and thought "wow, I would really like an animated kid".
I see a lot of actors for whom life becomes one big schedule. I guess I try to be more sensitive to my private life - to take a breath of fresh air and be in the countryside or on a golf course.
[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 the last time he drank alcohol at age 27) I was in Camden (England) and I had a crazy experience with these two sisters whom I was friends with from Glasgow, and we'd been out one night, and one of the sisters just went nuts. I don't know what it was. She just lost her mind and the other sister was freaking out and crying and saying, 'I don't know what's wrong with her' and I remember thinking: 'How many of these crazy situations do I have to get into? This is not who I am or where I should be'. I woke up the next morning and looked in the mirror and didn't recognize myself. I didn't recognize my face, and I didn't recognize my soul. I went: 'Who is this? What's happened to you?' I actually went to the pub and thought well, I'll have a beer, and sit and contemplate this, and I just couldn't drink it. I took a sip and went to the toilet and threw up and said: 'That's it'. And that's the last time I ever had a drink.
[on how building up an intimidating physique was important for 300]: It's easy for me to be paranoid, especially when you're an actor playing the lead role. I have previously seen so many actors with a massive amount of armor on and then these little twiggy arms. I'm not naming any names, but some of them have these plummy accents and you think to yourself: 'You couldn't fight your way out of a paper bag and you're commanding armies or are supposed to be a knight or whatever. That's all so King Arthur. I wanted to be the guy who my men could look to and say: 'Yeah, I would follow him.' And the audience would look at him and think: 'Yeah, I can see why they would follow him into battle.' And then finally, that I would be feeling like: 'Of course they're going to follow me.' I also wanted to see that in their eyes, that I could feel they had respect for me.
[on wanting to stun audiences with his sculpted physique in 300]I've always had a relatively good body, and since Atilla the Hun was one of my first roles. Not that different in terms of the shape I had to get in [for 300]. I let it go, from time to time. But [for 300] I said to the people in the highest levels, 'Give me this and I'll get in kick-ass shape, I'm telling you.' I wanted to have a physique like you wouldn't believe. I'm not a martial artist, not a Schwarzenegger. But I wanted people to go, 'Holy fuck, how did he get like THAT?' I hope I've done that.
[on inspiring and motivating people with his performance and physique in 300]: I know a lot of people who tell me, "I watched that movie, and now I go to the gym." What bothered me was people telling me I was wearing a body suit. I worked too hard for you to deny me working so hard. I wanted to try and look like a sculpture, like Leonidas deserved to look. I wanted to be big, and cut. I think that movie worked on so many levels, and people appreciated it for more than the abs; it's about team spirit, sacrifice and honor.
[on his irritation when people claimed his body in 300 was CGI enhanced]: I was a bit annoyed when people suggested I was wearing a body suit, when I thought of all the work involved. I was aiming for the stars. I wanted to look superhuman, like nobody had ever looked before. Then I'd look down at me and think this doesn't look real.
[on being proud of the way he looked in 300]: When you work so hard on your body and suddenly you're proud of the way you look, I'm quite happy to show off! I'm pretty much happy to walk around naked any chance I get, because I know as soon as this movie finishes it'll all disappear again, so I might as well enjoy being seen while I have it.
[on the extreme physical conditioning he wanted to achieve for 300]: I didn't just train with the cast I trained on my own as well and I always had someone by me to pump on set. I kept that up for months and months. It was a way to get into my mind that I deserved to lead and to feel it was in their minds too, that I was an actor who'd impressed them by the work I was willing to do. I knew I had to wear this big beard and this big helmet and I didn't want to be this big head on this skinny body. You see so many movies like this where this English actor comes out with his twiggy arms and this very cerebral, academic English voice, shouting at these armies. I never bought that for a second. I was aiming for the stars. I wanted to look super-human, like nobody else had ever looked before. I tried to make it as extreme as possible, just like a Spartan.
[on ever trying to match his physical transformation on 300]: I think somebody would have to understand just how intensely I trained for this film. I think it's pretty impossible to surpass, at least in my book, I wouldn't want to do it again and I don't think I''d ever really need to do it again.
[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 what he was trying to achieve with his physique in 300]: I wanted to look really strong. I've seen so many actors play these kinds of roles, and you see all this equipment on either a big belly or skinny little arms. You know that every bead of sweat falling off your head, every weight you've pumped -- the history of that is all in your eyes. That was a great thing, to put on that cape and put on that helmet, and not have to think, Shit, I should have trained more. Instead, I was standing there feeling like a lion.
[on wanting to impress WB chief Alan Horn and the stuntmen with his physical preparation on 300]: I made a promise to [Warner Bros. president] Alan Horn personally that if he gave me the role, I would so kick butt that I would make the movie my life -- and I did. Every workout session, and every bit of pain that I went through made me feel more like a Spartan. I wanted the stuntmen to go, "Who is this guy? He's fucking nuts." I wanted to train as hard as I could with them-not with them but for them, so when I put on that cape, to go, "Wow. Look at that."
[Special effects supervisor Pierre Raymond on whether Gerard Butler's eight pack abs abs and the other actor's muscles in 300 were real]: When you make a decision to shoot guys that workout-wise are very well built, if you light them and you start to play on contrast and having very dark scenes you will naturally increase [the body's] details. A lot of people are saying we were involved in increasing or inventing muscles for these guys but it is not the case. We were able to show more of what they had.
[on how constantly showing off his body helped his performance in 300]: You wanted to be naked. The more naked you were the stronger you felt because you could shock your opponents. The Spartans were big and strong and wanted people to see that. They wanted their opponents to wonder 'Do we want to mess with him?'
[on being asked if his famous six-pack abs in 300 was CGI] No they weren't, not at all, are you kidding me? When I was training, my six-pack was so pronounced that I could stick up to my second knuckle of my finger into my stomach, defining my six-pack. I was truly buff and God-like. Actually, that question annoys me because I am still suffering from the aches and pains of the work that I put in for that movie because I over-trained ridiculously. I had my own body-building trainer and then I trained with the film crew and then I would pump on set all the time and then people come with stuff like "Oh you wore a body suit?" or "Oh it was all digitally enhanced?" or "Oh it was painted on?". It was all very much me!
[on being asked if film-makers CGIed in his abs for the movie 300] No not the abs. My abs in the movie are mine (own). It is very expensive to CGI in somebody's abs for a second, never mind for a whole film. That's a 5 million dollar deal for just one person! Warner Brothers were excited for me to do this film, but they weren't 5 million dollars excited, to CGI in my abs. I shed blood, sweat and tears for that six-pack.
[on looking like a Greek god yet feeling like an old man during the making of 300 due to over-training] When I take my clothes off I look like a Greek God. But inside I feel like an 80-year-old man. My knees are gone. My shoulders feel like they don't exist any more.
[on wanting to physically impress his co-stars inn the film 300] My huge paranoia was that I was going to be like another skinny British actor who's pretending to be a hard man. You look at Leonidas' arms and you look at his legs, and they'd break you like a fucking toothpick. I was their king, so I wanted the other actors to be going, "Wow, he's fucking awesome".

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