300 Helmer Worked It

Category: 300 News | Posted by: admin
Article Date: November 16, 2006 | Publication: Sci Fi Wire | Author: Editors
Publication/Article Link:http://www.scifi.com/scifiwire/index.php?category=0&id=38937

Gerard Butler, who stars as the supremely fit King Leonidas of Sparta in the upcoming 300, told SCI FI Wire that the film's director, Zack Snyder, also worked himself into fighting trim during the shoot in sympathy with the cast. Snyder (Dawn of the Dead) worked out with the cast and crew and thus knew of what he spoke as he put Butler (Phantom of the Opera) through his paces during the grueling, physical shoot. The cast, who play Spartans who battle invading Persians in the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C., performed most of the film wearing little more than leather briefs and capes.

"The funniest thing is, because this man trains like nobody I've ever seen, there was one day where we started bocce ball on set." Butler said during following a preview screening in New York. "I don't know how it got there, but he kicked everybody's ass. And there's one of the final scenes, where I have to throw the spear [at the main antagonist, Xerxes, King of Persia, played by Rodrigo Santoro]. And literally Zack is saying, 'You've got to aim over there.' So they put a head up for Xerxes way, way back, and literally he threw it, hit the head, and it went through this curtain in the back. It ripped a hole in it. It was like the perfect throw. And I'm going 'phoo!' and it's going [downward, into the ground,] over here. So [Snyder] is the real Leonidas right here."

The movie, based on Frank Miller's graphic novel 300, tells the story of the mythic battle in which a couple of hundred Spartan warriors engaged an army of millions of invading Persians, eventually inspiring the rest of the Greeks to band together to fight the oppressors. The film, which stars Butler, Lena Headey and David Wenham, opens March 9, 2007. —Ian Spelling