- Category : Actor
- Type : PSP
- Profile : 2/4 - Hermit / Opportunist
- Definition : Split - Large
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Explanation 4
Gerard James Butler (born November 13, 1969) is a Scottish actor and singer, perhaps best known for his roles as the Phantom from The Phantom of the Opera, as well as King Leonidas from 300.
Gerard Butler, who is of Scottish/Irish descent, was born in Glasgow, Scotland to Edward and Margaret Butler. Youngest of three, Butler has an older brother Brian and sister Lynne. Shortly after his birth, the family moved to Montreal, Canada, where he lived until he was 2 years old. At that time, his parents separated, and his mother Margaret returned with her children to Scotland. Gerry grew up in the Gallowhill area of Paisley near Glasgow. Upon his mother's remarriage the family moved to the district of Ralston. He had no further contact with his father until age 16.
Butler attended school in Paisley (St Catherine's Primary School and St Mirin's and St Margaret's High School) and in fact, stated he grew to love acting early in life when he participated in the Scottish Youth Theatre. However, instead of pursuing that interest, he initially chose a more conservative path and went on to study law at Glasgow University, where he received top grades and served as President of the university's Law Society. After graduation he began working as a trainee solicitor but, as he himself has stated, he was unhappy with his chosen career path. Instead of taking the apprenticeship seriously, he mainly partied and goofed off, and admits to developing too much of a "fondness for the drink". A week before he was suppose to complete his training, his firm approached him about his conduct and he made the decision not to become a lawyer. He gave up his legal career, moved to London, and began to pursue a career in film.
His first acting roles were in the stage plays Coriolanus and in Trainspotting,
In 1997, he starred in his first film role as Archie Brown, John Brown’s brother in Mrs. Brown (1997). The film, starring Judi Dench and Billy Connolly, was nominated for many awards including 2 Oscar nominations. That same year, Butler appeared in a minor role in the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies.
From 1997 to 1999, Butler starred in various independent films and several television series in the UK. The films include 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 US made for TV mini-series 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 were released in 2000.
From 2001 to early-2002, Butler made several films, but his most notable work during that time period was in The Jury, a critically aclaimed UK TV mini-series.
In 2003, Timeline was released, in which Butler once again starred along with Billy Connolly. Based on the Michael Crichton book of the same name, Butler played a Scottish archeologist, Andre Marek. During the same year, Butler landed the role that would put him on the map. He starred opposite Angelina Jolie in the much anticipated sequel , Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life.
In 2004, he began filming in the title role of "The Phantom" in Joel Schumacher's film rendition of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera. Co-starring Emmy Rossum and Patrick Wilson, the film premiered in December 2004.
Prior to filming The Phantom of the Opera in 2004, Butler had completed a small independent film Dear Frankie, which co-starred Emily Mortimer. The release of this film was held until after the release of The Phantom of the Opera and premiered at Cannes Film Festival in May 2005. The film garnered a standing ovation at the film festival. Although Dear Frankie only had a limited release, it was very well received and reviewed by critics.
In 2005, he also co-starred in The Game of Their Lives, the film based on a true story of the 1950 US soccer team who, against all odds, beat England 1 - 0 in the city of Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Also in 2005, he was cast in the title role as Beowulf, in Sturla Gunnarsson film production of Beowulf & Grendel. Filmed entirely in Iceland, Beowulf & Grendel was wide released in Canada to moderate success. During the filming of this production, 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. Wrath of Gods has won several awards at film festivals.
Late 2005, Butler began production in 300. The film, directed by Zack Snyder, and co-starring Lena Headey, was released in March 2007. Butler played the Spartan King Leonidas. The film was an adaptation of the Frank Miller graphic novel based on events surrounding the Battle of Thermopylae in Greece. 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 1st weekend. As of May 2007, 300 had a box office gross of $438 million after 9 weeks.
In 2006, Butler completed filming Butterfly on a Wheel with Pierce Brosnan. Butterfly on a Wheel is tentatively scheduled to be released in August 2007. Also in 2006, Butler filmed PS, I Love You. co-starring Hilary Swank, the film is based on Cecilia Aherns novel. PS, I Love You is scheduled to be released in December 2007.
On May 20th, 2007, Butler was honored as "Action Star of the Year" at the Taurus World Stunt Awards in Los Angeles, CA. This award was presented to him in recognition of his efforts in the film 300. Butler did many of his own stunts and trained extensively with stuntmen during the film.
He was named "Biggest Ass Kicker" at the 2007 Spike TV Guys' Choice Awards for his role of King Leonidas.
He prefers to be called Gerry because most do not pronounce his given name Gerard correctly. His name is correctly pronounced with the stress being on the 'Jer' as if 'Jer-ard' rather than the 'rard' being elongated as if 'Je-rard'.
While making the film Mrs. Brown, 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 trouble. Butler jumped into the river and consequently saved the young boy from drowning. He received a "Certificate of Bravery" from the Royal Humane Society.
Prior to being cast as the Phantom in 2004, Butler had never had any formal voice training. When he became interested in the role, Butler began taking formal singing lessons, training for hours a day from January 2003 to June 2004.
When he won the Taurus Award for best stunts, he was honoured with six members of the stunt crew of 300 and shocked to see former co-workers, he actually claimed: "I had hoped that I'd never again see someone wearing leather underpants and a red cape...that's coming back to haunt me!"
As part of a marketing effort, Butler's character of King Leonidas, was added as a WWE Superstar in the SmackDown! roster section of wwe.com.