Gerard Butler, Zack Snyder talk '300'

Category: 300 News | Posted by: maryp
Article Date: March 8, 2007 | Publication: Ohio State Lantern | Author: The Lantern Staff
Publication/Article Link:The Lantern

The Lantern: Did you think people would draw parallels to current world events and to the subject matter of the smaller army against the much larger one?

Zach Snyder: I have to say I didn't really think about it in the writing or shooting. But it has been brought up to me recently and I understand that it is fun to find a metaphor that reflects current political situations. My intent was always to get to the Spartan viewpoint. I have been asked, "Who is George Bush in this movie? Is it Leonidas or Xerxes?" When someone asks me that question, I can only hope that that inspires debate so it can be a vehicle for change or discussion at least.

TL: How do you think "300" compares to other historical epics such as "Troy" or "Alexander?" Do you think "300" is more authentic to actual history or is it more following (creator) Frank Miller's vision?

ZS: The two movies you just referenced, in comparison to them, you are talking about "300" sort of re-inventing the genre and that experience. I think those movies have paved the way for me to now get at this from a different angle. I have been inspired by what Frank has done and I think he and I have an aesthetic kinship. I think we have created something that the short and sandals genre will be rocked by.

TL: When you are making a movie like this, how do you cast someone based on a graphic novel, where the characters are already known and established to fans?

ZS: It is hard, but I am of the mind that people should look like the drawings. I don't go "Oh who is the flavor of the week? Let's make them Leonidas." That does not work to my way of thinking. The cool thing is that Gerry (Butler, "Leonidas") really did try to channel the drawings that Frank did and he kept trying to be them and that was really what I was looking for.

TL: What appealed to you about Leonidas when you first starting looking at the script?

Gerard Butler: Well, first of all, I loved the script. There was a class and an elegance about it while being so violent and so brittle. Then you come across this character who, to me, his nobility and valor are not in question. With out doing a thing, you can tell from his presence that he has the absolute command and an unwavering loyally of all his men and that was kind of great. Here is a tough guy who, to me, throughout the whole film, I can't tell you how many times I got the opportunity where, you know you are right and they are wrong and to do anything you can to win and inflict pain on that person. Maybe that is a very unspiritual way to think but that is what we got to do in this movie. When start to fight, and the way we do it is fierce to say the least, fearless to say more, and basically we just kick a--and kick a-- and kick a--, even when you would expect something different to happen and to me that is a cool thing. To be a warrior who is tough and at the same time ruthless. It is a very untypical hero. Heroes usually have to deal with a moral path, integrity and play fair.