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Best of British: Gerard Butler

Category: Misc./General Career News
Article Date: April 30, 2008 | Publication: FemaleFirst | Author: Helen Earnshaw

Posted by: maryp

Despite having had a steady career since the late 1990s Scottish actor Gerard Butler shot to fame in 2007's war epic 300.

However a movie career almost didn't happen for Butler when he went to Glasgow University Law School. Unhappy in his chosen profession, and having always wanted to be an actor, he moved into the theatre appearing in Cotiolanus and a stage version of hot Brit flick Trainspotting.

He made his film debut in 1997's Mrs brown, which starred Judi Dench and Billy Connolly, and follows the relationship between Queen Victoria and servant John Brown after the death of her husband Albert.

His first big movie role came in Dracula 2000, which was directed by Patrick Lussier and produced by Wes Craven , in the role of Dracula/Judas Iscariot.

A gang of high-tech thieves, led by Marcus (Omar Epps) and Solina (Jennifer Esposito), break into a vault buried deep in the heart of London hoping to find treasure.

Instead, they succeed in reviving an ancient evil--the legendary Count Dracula himself (Gerard Butler), who terrorized England a century earlier until he was stopped by Dr. Abraham Van Helsing.

Now, Dracula makes his way to modern New Orleans to track down Mary Heller (Justine Waddell), an innocent young woman haunted by dreams she doesn't understand.

Matthew Van Helsing (Christopher Plummer), Dracula's current keeper, must track the Count down with the help of his assistant, Simon (Jonny Lee Miller), but they also have to deal with the vampire's new victims, who soon return from the dead, thirsty for blood.

Can Dracula be stopped before he seduces Mary and begins a new reign of terror, or do secrets from his past hold the key to destroying him forever.

He worked in television and movies over the next couple of years until he landed the role of Terry Sheridan in Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life opposite Angelina Jolie.

Intrepid British archaeologist Lara Croft (Angelina Jolie) has made perhaps the most important archaeological discovery in history: an orb that leads to the mythical Pandora's Box.

Unfortunately, the orb falls into the hands of Jonathan Reiss (Ciaran Hinds), an evil scientist who deals in killer viruses and hopes to sell the secrets of the box as the ultimate weapon.

Recruited by British Intelligence to get the orb back from Reiss, Lara enlists Terry Sheridan (Gerard Butler), a British marine turned mercenary--and her former love interest--to help.

The two embark on an adventure that spans continents in an attempt to regain the orb.

The film did gross $156 million at the global box office, but only grossed $65 million in America. On a budget of $100 million, and doing poorly with the critics, the film was not the success expected.

Dear Frankie was a success for Butler earning a string of nominations and awards including Best International Film at the Los Angeles IFP/West Film Festival.

Dear Frankie is a heartwarming and often humorous tale of nine year-old Frankie and his mom, Lizzie, who have been on the move ever since he can remember.

To protect her son from the truth, Lizzie has invented a story to satisfy Frankie's curiosity. She regularly writes Frankie a letter from his make-believe father who works aboard a ship travelling to exotic lands.

However, Lizzie soon finds out his 'fathers' ship will be arriving in a few days. Now, Lizzie must choose between telling Frankie the truth and hatching a desperate plan to find the perfect stranger to play the perfect father.

However the actor's breakthrough role came in 2007 in Zack Snyder's adaptation of Frank Miller's graphic novel 300.

Gerard Butler plays Leonidas, the king of ancient Sparta. The city is famous for its warrior philosophy, and Leonidas won't kneel to the demands of Persia's King Xerxes (Lost's Rodrigo Santoro).

Instead, Leonidas leads his 300-strong army against Xerxes's army of millions. Meanwhile, his wife (Lena Headley) campaigns in Sparta for the city to send reinforcements as she butts heads with the treacherous Theron (Dominic West).

300 broke the record for the biggest opening weekend in the month of March, which was previously held by Ice Age: The MEltdown, grossing over $70 million.

The film went on to gross over $456 million at the international box office.

Since Butler's turn as King Leonidas the actor has been in high demand starring in P.S I Love You and Guy Ritchie's RoncknRolla, which is awaiting release.

For his latest project Nim's Island Butler plays two roles of Jack Rusoe and Alex Rover.

Anything can happen on Nim's Island, a magical place ruled by a young girl's imagination.

It is an existence that mirrors that of her favourite literary character, Alex Rover - the world's greatest adventurer.

But Alexandra, the author of the Rover books, leads a reclusive life in the big city.

When Nim's father goes missing from their island, a twist of fate brings her together with Alexandra.

Now they must draw courage from their fictional hero, Alex Rover, and find strength in one another to conquer Nim's Island.

Nim's Island is released 2nd May


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