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Gerard Butler 275x212Gerard James Butler (born 13 November 1969) is a British actor, who has appeared on film, stage, and television. A trained lawyer, Butler turned to acting in the mid-1990s with small roles in productions such as the James Bond .

Butler was born in Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland, the youngest of three children.

   
 

Butler was brought up in a strict Irish Roman Catholicfamily. He spent the first few years of his life in Montreal, Canada, before the family returned to live in Scotland.

Butler studied law at the University of Glasgow, and became the president of the Law Society, a position Butler later said he "kind of blagged my way into".Before his final year of law school, Butler took a year off to live in California. He mostly lived in Venice Beach, working at different jobs, travelling often, and, according to him, drinking heavily, at one point being arrested for alcohol-related disorderly conduct. Butler later described this year as, "I was out of control, and justifying it with this idea that I'm young, this is life. This is me just being boisterous".

   

Gerard  Butler After his time off in America, he returned to Scotland to finish his final year at university. After graduating, Butler got a job as a trainee lawyer, but was fired soon thereafter, which Butler later said made him "quite infamous in Scottish legal circles", due to the rarity of trainee lawyers being fired. A week before being fired, in 1995, Butler had been inspired to try acting, after seeing a stage production of Trainspotting at the Edinburgh Festival; his firing gave him the impetus to plunge fully into the acting world. He moved to London the next day, to try to begin an acting career.

In London, Butler held a series of odd jobs until being cast by actor and director Steven Berkoff (who later appeared alongside him in Attila (2001/I) (TV)) in a stage production of Coriolanus. He was cast as Ewan McGregor's character Renton in the stage adaptation of Trainspotting, the same play that had inspired him to become an actor. His film debut was as Billy Connolly's younger brother in Mrs. Brown (1997).

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 USA film Attila (2001/I) (TV). 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 was cast as Dracula in Dracula 2000 (2000).

He then appeared in Reign of Fire (2002) as Creedy and Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003) as Terry Sheridan, alongside Angelina Jolie. In the role 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.

In 2003, director Joel Schumacher was deciding on the principal casting for the film The Phantom of the Opera, a film adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical The Phantom of the Opera, and thought of Butler, whom he had seen earlier in the film Dracula 2000, to play the title character. Butler, who had had no musical experience other than singing in a rock band while he was studying to be a lawyer, was surprised at the interest, but immediately began taking singing lessons with a vocal coach. He then did an acting audition with Schumacher, and a singing audition with Lloyd Webber, both of whom were impressed by his performance.

Gerard  Butler Other projects that followed 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, which is often described as his breakout role.Butler, who said he "wanted to look really strong" in the film, trained with a high-intensity workout for four months prior to the film's shooting.

In 2009, he starred in the Mark Neveldine/Brian Taylor film Gamer, The Ugly Truth and Law Abiding Citizen, which he also co-produced. In 2010 he starred in the action/comedy The Bounty Hunter with Jennifer Aniston, and did a voice-over for the 2010 animated film How to Train Your Dragon as Stoick the Vast.

On 15 and 16 October 2010, thanks to the popularity of his role as Spartan King Leonidas and the use of his lines during athletic events at Michigan State University, he was a guest at their Midnight Madness and homecoming American football game.

On 18 December 2011, while filming Chasing Mavericks, Butler was hospitalised after he was pulled under big waves. Subsequently, he was taken to Stanford University Medical Center and later released.

On 19 August 2011, NME reported that while filming Playing for Keeps, Butler was writing songs and in the process of recording an album. Marilyn Manson, Jack Black and Johnny Depp were said to be advising him on becoming a rock star.However, in a 2013 interview with Parade, when asked if he had spoken with Manson or Depp about Rock music, Butler stated that "I've never had conversations with Marilyn Manson or Johnny Depp. Though any conversation with either of them would be awesome!"

Butler starred in the action thriller Olympus Has Fallen, which was released in 2013 and co-stars Aaron Eckhart and Morgan Freeman. While filming Olympus Has Fallen, Butler says he broke two bones in his neck, but did not realise until he had an MRI scan.

 

 
 

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