Cheat Sheet: Gerard Butler
Gerard James Butler
Date of Birth:
13th November 1969
Place of birth:
Acting, singing, kicking
The Phantom of the Opera, 300, RocknRolla, Law Abiding Citizen, How To Train Your Dragon, Coriolanus
What you probably already know:
Everyone knows Gerard Butler. Over the last few years the big, beardy Scot has starred in more bloody awful action films and even bloody awfuller rom-coms than almost anyone else in Hollywood, alienating fans of both guns AND kissing with matchless aplomb. That probably means he’s shit, doesn’t it? WRONG, MOTHERSCRUBBERS! Once you get past the fact that he clearly has the worst casting agent in the whole world, there’s no denying that GB has delivered some very tasty performances in his time. Plus he was Leonidas in 300, the film which united people with no taste and people who simply appreciate virtuoso tastelessness. And fans of abs, obviously.
When he’s not beavering away with mad violent nonsense like Gamer or unforgivable slush like The Ugly Truth, however, Gerard Butler is quietly bringing the goods in his own growly way. His co-starring role in Ralph Fiennes’ Coriolanus was genuinely impressive, blending Butler’s trademark physicality with a convincingly brooding performance as the charismatic rebel Tullus Aufidius. Could this be Butler’s crossover role, lighting the path to more dramatic roles? Perhaps it could. Or perhaps the path is already lit…
What you might not know:
D’you know what everyone’s forgotten amidst the blitz of guns and shower scenes which comprises much of Gerard Butler’s recent CV? The Phantom of the Opera, that’s what. Everyone in the world loved him as the Opera Ghost – just think back to the panache with which he wore that half-mask and tell me you wouldn’t succumb if he sang to you through a mirror. If nothing else, the switch from romantic hero to action leading man (with breaks here and there for credible extras like 2007’s Butterfly on a Wheel) demonstrates Butler’s range; whilst he’s obviously happy filling up much of his time with relatively unchallenging work at the moment, that’s not a negative reflection on his talents.
In fact, do you know what Butler used to do before he got so addicted to doing his own stunts? He was a lawyer. Didn’t see that coming, did you? Before becoming a successful actor in the late nineties (his breakthrough performances were in a stage version of Trainspotting, a Steven Berkoff-directed adaptation of Coriolanus and the film Mrs Brown, in which he played Billy Connolly’s little brother), Butler practiced law and also played various festivals with his band. This is not a one-note lump like Sam Worthington, people. He may not have had the best taste in roles, but Gerard Butler will surprise us yet.
Gerard Butler quote:
“One of the nicest privileges as an actor is to know that you can move people in one moment, make them think about their lives, or make them laugh or make them cry or make them understand something. Or just make them feel something, because I think so many of us, including myself, spend too much time not feeling enough, you know?”
Boo hoo, emotiboy.
What to say at a dinner party:
“To be fair, Leonidas is an absolute champion. That’s just fact. Have you SEEN those abs?”
What not to say at a dinner party:
“THIS. IS. BLAAAAAAAND! As are many of Gerard Butler’s roles.”
Did you know that Gerard Butler voiced Stoick the Vast in How To Train Your Dragon? No, you didn’t. AND he’ll be back for the sequel! We love him. (Give Machine Gun Preacher a miss, though.)