Gerard Butler surprises E.L. residents

Category: Misc./General Career News | Posted by: admin
Article Date: October 17, 2010 | Publication: MSU State News | Author: Lauren McKown
Publication/Article Link:MSU State News

Actor Gerard Butler directs the Spartan Marching Band during the Homecoming game Saturday at Spartan Stadium. Butler, star of the movie “300,” visited MSU this weekend to participate in Homecoming festivities.
King Leonidas of Sparta visited the land of the Spartans this weekend — in the form of Scottish actor Gerard Butler.

From pumping up students for Midnight Madness at Breslin Center to strolling East Lansing streets, visiting local restaurants and businesses, Butler popped up all across the area throughout the past few days, exciting students and sports fans alike pre- and post-Homecoming game against the University of Illinois.

Perhaps best known to Spartan fans for his role as King Leonidas in the movie “300,” Butler riled Midnight Madness fans repeating his famous line “Spartans, what is your profession?” on Friday alongside men’s basketball head coach Tom Izzo.

It wasn’t his only appearance, however, as students reported seeing Butler throughout the next few days.
University officials were unavailable for comment Sunday as to why Butler was at MSU. Butler reportedly has been invited to visit the university since “300” was released in 2007. Butler told Spartan fans at Midnight Madness he flew in from New York for Homecoming weekend.

Butler attended the football game Saturday to watch the Spartans take on the Fighting Illini, and helped conduct the Spartan Marching Band.

Shaking Butler’s hand in the tunnel during the pregame ceremonies will be a highlight of international relations senior and Spartan Marching Band member Devin Bone’s life, he said.

“His conducting was sloppy at best, but it was a thrill to have him up there,” Bone said, laughing. “We definitely appreciated it.”

Waiting outside of Dublin Square Irish Pub, 327 Abbot Road, on Saturday evening, studio art freshman Taylor Wardowski said she was excited to have her picture taken with Butler, even as he was trying to move away from fans outside the pub.

“He was really friendly,” she said.

“My friend and I told him we loved him in the Phantom (of the Opera) and I don’t think he gets that a lot, so he smiled and agreed to take one more picture.”

His visit was a surprise even for the football team, which received a pep talk from Butler before the game, senior wide receiver Mark Dell said.

“(Butler) just said he was meaning to come back and talk to us since he did (300), but gave us a little motivational speech to go out there and get the win against a good team,” Dell said.

State News staff writer Jeff Kanan contributed to this report.