Gerard Butler profile
Gerard Butler in "Coriolanus"
Gerard Butler

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With Gerard Butler – who would finally come into his own as King Leonidas in the 2007 epic "300" – the word destiny is not too far off when describing his winding life and times. Unlike others who smoothly graduated from one point to another to emerge as in-demand talents, Gerard blazed a unique, personal course that would lead him to the forefront of emerging celebrities.

Scottish born, Gerard spent two years in Montreal before his parents divorced and he returned with his mother and two older siblings to Scotland. He played a street urchin in the Scottish Youth Theatre production of "Oliver!," but this was a mere prelude to the forthcoming drama that would be Gerard's "wandering" years. Though he knew acting stirred a passion within him, Gerard opted for a more realistic and normal career path – nothing short of law school at Glasgow University. On paper, Gerard thrived: he served as president of the law society, excelled with top-notch grades, and graduated with an honor's degree. And yet, Gerard knew this was not where he belonged.

A move to Los Angeles following completion of his studies saw Gerard as an extra in the Kevin Costner picture "The Bodyguard" in 1992. But the Hollywood of the early 1990s was not yet ripe for Gerard, and following a stop off in Canada to visit with his cancer-stricken father one last time, Gerard returned to Scotland to practice law in Edinburgh. He would continue this lifestyle for two long years. It was as an audience member seeing "Trainspotting" on stage in Edinburgh that the desire to pursue the long dormant passion of acting returned. Assuming roles on stage in "Coriolanus" and "Trainspotting" paid off for Gerard when he made the transition to film in 1997, including a role in the 007 movie "Tomorrow Never Dies." British film work continued until Wes Craven directed Gerard in the lead role as Dracula in "Dracula 2000." The film's failure was just a string of setbacks for Gerard – "Harrison's Flowers," "Reign of Fire" and "Timeline" followed.

In a risky move, Joel Schumacher brought Gerard on as The Phantom in the 2004 big screen adaptation of "The Phantom of the Opera." The film received lukewarm reviews and eventually grossed an average $50 million. In 2006, Gerard played Beowulf in the UK/Icelandic production of "Beowulf & Grendel," which may have been enough to attract the eye of Zack Snyder, then mounting his production of the Spartan battle at Thermopylae entitled "300." With Gerard inhabiting the role of forceful King Leonidas, it proved at last to be his long awaited breakthrough – all before Gerard turned 38.

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Gerard on the Web

Gerard's ultimate web resource guide.

Decent bio with section on potential upcoming roles for Gerard.

Gerard on the Screen

Gerard Butler got his start in a small role as the Leading Seaman in "Tomorrow Never Dies," but his first big break didn't come until 2003's "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider - Cradle of Life." The actor followed that up with films as diverse as "Timeline" to "The Phantom of the Opera" before landing a career-making role in Zack Snyder's "300." Since then, Gerard has appeared in action thrillers like "Gamer" and "RocknRolla" rom-coms like "The Ugly Truth," "The Bounty Hunter" and "Playing for Keeps," and has even done a little Shakespeare in Ralph Fiennes' directorial debut, "Coriolanus."

Gerard Says

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?"

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