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Exclusive Interview: 300'S Gerard Butler Jokes That He Only Does Full Frontal with a Fluffer

Category: 300 News
Article Date: March 16, 2007 | Publication: IF Magazine | Author: EMMANUEL ITIER

Posted by: admin

King Leonidas spills on work outs, nudity, and the cost of being absurdly buff

300, which utterly destroyed the competition at the box office last weekend, is continuing to have strong numbers and box office take this week. Actor Gerard Butler plays King Leonidas, the man who leads the 300 Spartan soldiers against the invading armies of Persia. IF MAGAZINE got up close and personal to find out how in shape Butler has stayed, what he had to do to get a super heroic body, and why he only does full frontal with a fluffer on hand.

iF MAGAZINE: Now, I loved the movie, but I have to know if those six-pack abs have been digitally enhanced in any way or if those are really yours?

GERARD BUTLER: No, they were never digitally altered because it was a body suit.

iF: It was?

BUTLER: No [Laughs].

iF: I know about the boot camp you went through. So how bad was it?

BUTLER: Yeah. Well, the boot camp was intense, but here's the thing. I had already been training for three months before the boot camp.

iF: Down here before you went to film?

BUTLER: Yeah, because I got the role shortly after the film was green lit and I had made a promise to Alan Horn personally that if he gave me the role I will so kick ass that I will make this my life and I did. I also know that I wasn't just saying that because that's what I do. Like when I started on PHANTOM I'd never had a singing lesson in my life and for me it's almost like simplifying it in a way. I go, 'What is my big f**k all task here?' Then I can say, 'Okay. What is my big task? What do I need to do to accomplish that?' Then if I have other people I need to talk to about it I just make sure that it's all thrown in front of me so that I have no choice and I just have to do it."

iF: So everyone was practically naked running around?

BUTLER: Pretty much naked, but you were drilling and doing things and I mean the floor would be soaking wet with our sweat. So by the time that I got to Montreal and into boot camp I was already into pretty good nick, but the boot camp was still tough. To me it was just an ongoing process, and then during the filming I kept training with both trainers and I also trained with my stunt man Tim Connolly. On set I would say, 'Lets go train.' And then I pumped all the time. I was probably pumping between ten and fifteen times a day, sometimes before every shot.

iF: Were you injured at all because all of that is hard on the body.

BUTLER: Yeah, it was. Afterwards I had tendonitis in almost every part of my body. I had a bad injury in my forearm, which still comes up if I go back into the gym. I had a rotator cuff injury. I pulled my hip flexer. Then there was a lot of whacks. Whenever you're doing a lot of sword fighting you're always getting whacked in the head or punched.

iF: Was anyone ever knocked out? Did you knock someone unconscious or get knocked out yourself?

BUTLER: Me hitting people? No. I never get knocked out in the film. The one scary scene for me was fighting the uber immortal. No. That's not true. They were all scary because the freelance that I do which was insane and it was like fifteen guys and even the stunt guys that I worked with who all worked in THE MATRIX as well, also Damon Caro who was also on THE BOURNE IDENTITY he said that no one ever had to do a piece in one take this long with so many moves. In THE MATRIX it's phenomenal stuff, but they cut, cut, cut, cut and this is all one take. On top of that it was fifteen guys that I knew from the gym, all of them. There was all of them, but when you put the costumes on you can't even see their eyes. This is all you see. They're all the same and they're just running at you at full speed and you're like [Screams]. And the rake that has been setup is so complex and so technical that if you f**k up it's a forty-five minute wait and you are up, and then you gotta go, 'Okay, what do I do? Do I come down now or do I stay up?' It was intense stuff, but it was also awesome. But the fight with the uber immortal, I mean, he had a sword, a real sword and he had to swing it at my head and I was supposed to move my head away at the last minute and then block another one like this. I mean, if any of them had gone wrong there is not a lot of defense that you have against the point of a sword that's being pointed at your skull. That doesn't bang off of you. That cracks through.

iF: Did you ever trip on the cape? I need to know.

BUTLER: Oh, yes, a lot. We all did, or someone would be standing on your cape and you don't know it and then you go to walk and you get pulled back by the neck. I mean, a couple of times when you're doing the free lance and people are coming at you and your cape is twirling and you go to go like this with your sword and it stops and you're like, 'I'm stuck!' as they're coming at you.

iF: Did you know that you were going to be walking around half naked the whole time? Had you seen the graphic novel?

BUTLER: I had seen the graphic novel and so I had a rough idea, but again it's one of those things that you kind of put out of your mind.

iF: Were you campaigning for frontal nudity in this movie? It's in the graphic novel.


iF: Would you have done it?

BUTLER: Probably not. If they'd given me a pumper or an extension, maybe that would've helped or a constant fluffer.


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