Gerard Butler

Gerard James Butler (born November 13, 1969) is a Scottish actor perhaps best known for his portrayal of King Leonidas in 300, The Phantom in the 2004 film version of The Phantom of the Opera, and Gerry Kennedy in P.S. I Love You.

Early life

Butler was born in Glasgow, Scotland, the son of Margaret and Edward Butler. His great-grandparents were from Ireland. Butler was raised in a Catholic working-class family. For the first two years of his life, he lived in Montreal, Quebec. When his parents divorced, his mother took him and his siblings, Lynn and Brian, back to Scotland, to her hometown, the village of Ralston outside Paisley. He had no further contact with his father until he was sixteen years old. His father died of cancer when Gerard was 22.


Butler graduated from Glasgow University Law School before embarking on his early career in stage plays. His first roles were in Coriolanus and in the stage version of Trainspotting. Butler landed his first film role as Archie Brown in 1997's Mrs. Brown alongside Judi Dench and Billy Connolly. That same year, he appeared in a minor role in the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies. He followed this with several appearances in various independent films and several television series in the UK, including a role in the series Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married and the films The Cherry Orchard, One More Kiss, and Harrison’s Flowers. In 1999, he began filming his first lead role as Attila the Hun in the American TV miniseries Attila. During filming of Attila, the production actually stopped in order for him to film his second lead role as Dracula in Wes Craven’s Dracula 2000. Both films were released in 2000. In this early part of his career his most notable work was in The Jury, a critically acclaimed UK TV miniseries. In Timeline which was released in 2003, Butler once again starred alongside Billy Connolly. Based on the Michael Crichton book of the same name, Butler played archaeologist Andre Marek. Also in 2003, he starred as Terry Sheridan opposite Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life. The following year he was cast in the title role of Joel Schumacher's film rendition of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera, co-starring Emmy Rossum, Patrick Wilson, and Ciaran Hinds. Prior to filming The Phantom of the Opera, Butler had completed the independent film Dear Frankie, which co-starred Emily Mortimer.

In 2005, he starred in The Game of Their Lives, a film based on a true story of the 1950 U.S. soccer team who beat England 1 - 0 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. The same year he was cast in as Beowulf in the Sturla Gunnarsson film production of Beowulf & Grendel. Filmed entirely in Iceland, Beowulf & Grendel was widely released in Canada to moderate success. During filming, Butler also participated in and co-produced the documentary Wrath of Gods. Directed by Jon Gustafsson, the film documents the dramatic circumstances the cast and crew faced while making the film Beowulf & Grendel. Later this same year Butler began production of 300, in which he starred as King Leonidas of Sparta. The film, directed by Zack Snyder and co-starring Lena Headey, was released in March 2007. The film was an adaptation of Frank Miller's graphic novel of the same name based on events surrounding the Battle of Thermopylae in Greece circa 480 BC. 300 was released in the US on March 9, 2007. It currently holds the record for the highest opening weekend box office gross in the month of March at over $72 million during that first weekend. As of May 2007, 300 had a box office gross of $438 million after nine weeks. Butler received various awards for this role including "Action Star of the Year" at the Taurus World Stunt Awards and "Biggest Ass Kicker" at the 2007 Spike TV Guys' Choice Awards.

In 2006, Butler completed filming Butterfly on a Wheel (renamed Shattered in the U.S.) and began work on PS, I Love You with Hilary Swank, based on Cecilia Ahern's novel and released in December 2007. On July 7, 2007 Butler appeared at the UK leg of Live Earth at Wembley Stadium, London. In November 2007, an Entertainment Weekly readers' poll named Gerard as #5 Ultimate Male Hottie of All Time. Later in November, Entertainment Weekly named Gerard as one of the Top 25 Entertainers of 2007.

Nim's Island, which also stars Jodie Foster and Abigail Breslin, opened in cinemas on April 4, 2008. Butler was cast in the role of Nim's father, Jack, and as Nim's imaginary hero, Alex Rover. The dual role allowed Gerard to use his natural Scottish burr when playing Alex, while he adopted an American accent as Jack.

Personal life

Butler currently splits his time between London, Los Angeles and New York City. Butler is a massive Celtic F.C. supporter.

Butler was a heavy smoker but quit smoking in 2007 when he played Gerry Kennedy in PS, I Love You. "I was smoking a huge amount and having real bad premonitions and then I got this role where the guy dies of cancer," Butler said. "The film made me contemplate death and realize I was playing Russian roulette with my health. I've stopped smoking since".

Gerard keeps his private life private, but has been linked to numerous leggy models.

Future roles

In 2005, Butler announced that he would play Robert Burns in the film Burns. Several tentative production dates have been set for the film, but they have been postponed due to scheduling and financing conflicts. Butler was also slated to play the role of Laurent in the new film adaptation of Emile Zola's novel Thérèse Raquin, but he is no longer attached to the project due to a scheduling conflict with his upcoming role in the film Game.

  • GAME, a futuristic thriller, co-produced by Paramount and Relativity Media, began filming in November 2007 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA and is currently in post-production. Butler has been cast as Kable, the No. 1-ranked warrior in the highest-rated game, which is called "Slayerz".
  • RocknRolla, a gangster film directed by Guy Ritchie. Butler is cast as One-Two, a street-smart gangster involved in a lucrative real-estate scheme. This film will have its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2008 and is to be released in major North American cities in October 2008.
  • Butler has completed work on the battle of the sexes comedy The Ugly Truth for Lakeshore Entertainment costaring Katherine Heigl.
  • Butler will be the voice of The Captain in the DVD extra "Tales from the Black Freigher" that will compliment Zack Snyder's adaptation of Dave Gibbons and Alan Moore's Watchmen. The DVD will be released five days after Watchmen's March 6, 2009 US theatrical opening.
  • Gerard has joined the cast of "How to Train Your Dragon" for Dreamworks animation. Butler will voice the father and chief of the tribe, Stoick the Vast, while America Ferrera voices Astrid, who partners with Hiccup for the initiation.
  • Butler will star in Law Abiding Citizen, his first project of his production company, Evil Twins, slated for a 2009 release. The film begins shooting in the fall of 2008 on location in Philadelphia, PA.


Year Title Role Notes
1997 Mrs. Brown Archie Brown
Tomorrow Never Dies Leading Seaman
1998 Tale of the Mummy Burke
Fast Food Jacko
Little White Lies Peter TV movie (UK)
The Young Person's Guide to Becoming a Rock Star Marty Claymore TV series (UK)
1999 The Cherry Orchard Yasha
Please! Peter Short Film
One More Kiss Sam TV movie (UK)
Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married Gus TV series (UK)
2000 Dracula 2000 Count Dracula/Judas Iscariot
Harrison's Flowers Chris Kumac
2001 An Unsuitable Job for a Woman Tim Bolton TV series (UK)
Attila Attila the Hun TV miniseries
Jewel of the Sahara Captain Charles Belamy Short Film
The Jury Johnnie Donne TV miniseries (UK)
2002 Shooters Jackie Junior
Reign of Fire Creedy
2003 Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life Terry Sheridan
Timeline André Marek
2004 The Phantom of the Opera The Phantom
2005 Trailer for a Remake of Gore Vidal's Caligula Prefect Cassius Chaerea Short Film
Dear Frankie The Stranger
Beowulf & Grendel Beowulf
The Game of Their Lives Frank Borghi
2007 300 King Leonidas
Butterfly On A Wheel Neil Randall
PS, I Love You Gerry Kennedy
2008 Nim's Island Jack Rusoe / Alex Rover
RocknRolla One Two
2009 Game Kable post-production
The Ugly Truth Mike Alexander post-production
Tales of the Black Freighter The Captain (voice) filming
Law Abiding Citizen District Attorney pre-production
2010 ''How to Train Your Dragon Stoick the Vast (voice) In production


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