Nov. 13th, 1969
Paisley, Scotland, UK
Gerard Butler's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Born in Glasgow, Scotland, to Margaret and Edward Butler, Gerard Butler was raised (along with his older brother and sister) in his mother's hometown of Paisley, Scotland. He also spent some of his youth in Canada. His parents divorced when he was a child, and he and his siblings were raised primarily by their mother, who later remarried. He had no contact with his father between the ages of two and 16 years old, after which time they became close. His father passed away when Gerard was in his early 20s. Butler went on to attend Glasgow University, where he studied to be a lawyer/solicitor. He was president of the school's law society thanks to his outgoing personality and great social skills.
His acting career began when he was approached in a London coffee shop by actor Steven Berkoff, who later appeared alongside Butler in Attila (2001), who gave him a role in a stage production of Coriolanus. After that Butler decided to give up law for acting. He was cast as 'Ewan McGregor's character Renton in the stage adaptation of Trainspotting. His film debut was as 'Billy Connolly's younger brother in Mrs. Brown (1997). While filming the movie in Scotland, 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 some trouble. Butler jumped in and saved the young boy from drowning. He received a Certificate of Bravery from the Royal Humane Society. He felt he only did what anyone in the situation would have done.
His film career continued with small roles, first in the James Bond movie Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) and then Russell Mulcahy's Tale of the Mummy (1998). In 2000, Butler was cast in two breakthrough roles, the first being Attila the Hun in the USA film Attila (2001). The film's producers wanted a known actor to play the part but kept coming back to Butler's screen tests and decided he was their man. He had to lose the thick Scottish accent, but managed well. Around the time Attila was being filmed, casting was in progress for Wes Craven's new take on the Dracula legacy. Also wanting a known name, Butler wasn't much of a consideration. His unending tenacity and drive drove him to hounding the producers. Eventually, he sent them a clip of his portrayal of Attila. Evidently they saw something because Dracula 2000 (2000) was cast in the form of Butler. Attila's producers, thinking that his big-screen role might help with their own film's ratings, finished shooting a little early so he could get to work on Dracula 2000 (2000). Attila ended up being the second highest-rated TV movie ever. Following these two roles, Butler developed quite a fan base, an Internet site and began appearing on lists everywhere.
Since then he has appeared in Reign of Fire (2002) as Creedy and Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003) as Terry Sheridan, alongside 'Angelina Jolie'. The role that garnered him most attention from both moviegoers and movie makers alike was that of Andre Marek in the big-screen adaptation of Michael Crichton's novel Timeline (2003). Butler played an archaeologist who was sent back in time with a team of students to rescue a colleague. Last year he appeared in Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical The Phantom of the Opera (2004), playing the title character in the successful adaptation of the stage musical. It was a role that brought him much international attention. Other projects include Dear Frankie (2004), The Game of Their Lives (2005) and Beowulf & Grendel (2005).
In 2007 he starred as Spartan King Leonidas in the Warner Bros. production 300 (2006), based on the 'Frank Miller' graphic novel, and _Butterfly on a Wheel (2007) co-starring 'Pierce Brosnan' and 'Maria Bello', which aired on network TV under the title Shattered. He most recently starred in P.S. I Love You (2007) with Academy Award-winner 'Hilary Swank'.
In 2007, he appeared in Nim's Island (2008) and RocknRolla (2008), and recently completed the new 'Mark Neveldine/Brian Taylor' film Gamer (2009). His latest film The Ugly Truth (2009) co-starring 'Katherine Heigl' began filming in April 2008.
- Is constantly trying to quit smoking employing the use of hypnotism, patches, lasers and most general methods. He did quit for six months while filming 300, but started again towards the end of filming.
- Sang in a rock band whilst training to be a lawyer.
- Born in Glasgow but raised primarily in Paisley, Scotland. He considers Paisley as his hometown.
- Was a presenter at the 2003 MTV Europe Music Awards with fellow Scotsman 'Billy Boyd (I)' (qv).
- He has a legal degree from Glasgow University, but gave up on that career after being fired from a law firm just one week before he was qualified to practice law.
- Was at one time the lead singer for a Scottish rock band named Speed, although music eventually became his second love after acting.
- Jokes about preferring the mask side of his face to the regular side of his face.
- When he auditioned for the role of Aslan the Lion in the Walden Media/Disney production of 'Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, The (2001)_ he asked, "This isn't going to be like the BBC puppet Aslan, right? Because if so I'm leaving right now.".