It doesn't matter whether you put him in armor and put sword and shield in his hand, give him long teeth, let golden blood flow out of him, or hide his distinctive face behind the half mask of the Phantom of the Opera, Gerard Butler makes it a good figure in every role.
The British or rather Scottish actor with Irish roots was born on November 13, 1969 in Paisley, Scotland. His full name is Gerard James Butler, but his friends can call him "Gerry".
Gerard Butler didn't always want to be an actor. After school he began studying law at the University of Glasgow and was very involved in the profession. He was even elected president of the Association of Law Students. He trained at a prestigious Glasgow law firm, but was dismissed shortly before the end of his training because he was absent too often. At that time, in his twenties, Gerard Butler had a severe drinking problem, which eventually cost him his job.
After losing his job, he decided to change his life, moved to London and stopped drinking consistently. To this day he hasn't touched a drop.
His acting career began quite accidentally in a London café when he was approached by the British playwright, actor and director Steven Berkoff and was offered a stage role in the play "Coriolanus". He had his first film role in 1997 as Archie Brown in "Mrs. Brown”. It continued with smaller roles in films such as "Tomorrow Never Dies” or "Tale oft he Mummy”. In 2000 he had his breakthrough as “Attila” the Hun in the mini-series of the same name, which, thanks to its main actor, achieved the second highest quota a mini-series had ever received. And that although they wanted to cast a better-known name for the main role first.
While the filming of "Attila" was still in progress, the casting for Wes Craven's "Dracula" took place, where he also secured the lead role. And here, too, they wanted to hire a better-known actor for the role of the universally popular and often copied Prince of Darkness ... good that they didn't do it.
Films like "Reign of Fire" and "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life” soon followed. He attracted great attention from moviegoers and filmmakers alike in the role of André Marek in the cinema version of Michael Crichton's novel “Timeline”, in which he plays an archaeologist who travels through time to save a colleague who was stranded in the past.
In 2004 he surprised his fans by slipping into the role of the phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber's cinematic musical adaptation "Phantom of the Opera" and impressively proved that he can also sing. With this role came international success.
In 2005 he picked up the sword again for “Beowulf & Grendel”. But that was just a warm-up for 2006. That year he shot "300". For the Warner Bros. production, based on Frank Miller's graphic novel of the same name, he completed the training of his life. For seven months he tormented his body to the limit in order to make the perfect Spartan for King Leonidas. The king had to be bigger and stronger and more defined than everyone else and so he even trained on set in costume during the breaks - although - there were no breaks for him. A fellow actor held his voluminous red cloak while he did push-ups on the floor or pumped up his muscles with dumbbell training in preparation for the next scene. His tight costume also left little room for imagination: extremely tight leather pants, cape, boots (or sandals) ... that's about it. In return, his perfectly trained body distracted a little from the historically exact but unappealing Greek haircut ... But despite the short hair, this film was also a great success.
In the next few years a colorful, cinematic cocktail of thriller, drama, adventure film, gangster comedy, science fiction action thriller and historical drama followed. In between he shone alongside Katherine Heigel in "The Ugly Truth" and chased after Jennifer Aniston in "The Bounty Hunter”.
In 2013 things got turbulent again when he was allowed to fight and shoot his way through the White House single-handedly in the action thriller "Olympus Has Fallen" to save the president and his son from ambitious and technically gifted terrorists.
In 2016 he returned to his old virtues and took up the sword again as the Egyptian god Seth in "Gods of Egypt". This time he embodied the desert god, responsible for chaos and ruin, the "bad guy" and tried in bloody battles to usurp control over all of Egypt ... but somehow you can't blame him for it ... In the same year he shot "London Has Fallen", the action-packed sequel to "Olympus Has Fallen", in which this time, as the title suggests, the British capital is the scene of general destruction.
Butler continued to work hard and made one exciting film after another over the next two years. The disaster film "Geostorm" was followed by "Den of Thieves”, "The Vanishing” and the action thriller “Hunter Killer”, before he released the "... Has Fallen Trilogy" in 2019 with "Angel Has Fallen” rounded off. The disaster film "Greenland", which he shot in 2020, is his latest work so far. It received very good reviews, but unfortunately could not be shown in cinemas for very long due to the corona pandemic. Which is just one more reason to urgently complete your home video library with his films.
Text: Nadja von der Hocht