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Butler Finds His Warrior in 300

Category: 300 News
Article Date: February 27, 2007 | Publication: MSN Movies | Author: Gregory Ellwood

Posted by: DaisyMay

Gerard Butler goes shirtless in '300'; director Zack Snyder is ready for 'Watchmen'; Oscar hangover and more

Gerard Butler spent seven months training for the biggest role of his career as King Leonidas, ruler of Sparta, circa 480 B.C. He spent a difficult production shooting against only green screen with almost no practical sets. And yet, what is the first thing on everyone's mind after seeing "300"? Could those possibly be Butler's real abs?

"Yeah, I tried to borrow someone else's, but they wouldn't give me them," Butler says laughing it off. "I kind of became a bit addicted to [the training] or, perhaps, addicted to the advantages that it was giving me."

The advantages included being able to inspire his army of 300 Spartan soldiers against an advancing horde of thousands of Persian soldiers. Based on Frank Miller's graphic novel, "300" doesn't pretend to be historically accurate, but Butler feels his portrayal of the King of Sparta has to be pretty dead on.

"I've never come across a character quite as powerful, intense and charismatic as this guy, and as badass," Butler says. "There's a confidence, humor, dryness, compassion, and there's a certain amount of humanity; and then, the guy is a nut job. He's crazy and there's a fearlessness that borders on insane. To try and get all that in with a man who really doesn't talk that much was a challenge."

And although Butler had no problems killing and maiming thousands of Persian soldiers alongside the rest of his half-naked army, he did have one complaint: That cape was really heavy.

"I don't want to sound like a pussy, because I trained really hard," Butler says to a reporter. "But if you were to, say, hold up that tape recorder, that's fine. But if you're to hold that up for 16 hours, it gets pretty hard. And the cape is actually very heavy.

When you first put it on, you don't think about it, but you naturally have to tense your shoulders to wear it. By the end of the day, you'd be just trying to lift it up just to get some relief for your neck. I had knots in my neck for months."

I dunno Gerry, are you really as tough as we thought? We haven't heard much complaining from the men or women playing superheroes during the past few years.

"300" opens nationwide March 9.
Also: Snyder Goes From '300' to 'Watchmen'


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