Gerard Butler

Biography: Before Gerard Butler found his calling in acting, he spent 7 years studying law. Butler is the youngest of three children, brother and sister. His parents are Margaret and Edward Butler. When Butler was barely six months old, his family relocated to Montréal, Canada, where his father undertook several failed business ventures. A year and a half later, Butler's parents divorced, and his mother took the children back to Scotland. He saw his father once more when he was four years old, and then not again until he was 16. In the meantime, Butler grew up in his mother's hometown of Paisley, where he frequented a nearby movie theater. Enamored with acting, he convinced his mother to take him to auditions, eventually joining the Scottish Youth Theatre and playing a street urchin in Oliver! at the Kings Theatre in Glasgow. An exceptional student, Butler graduated at the top of his class. Hoping to please his family and his teachers, who felt acting was an unrealistic career choice, Butler enrolled in Glasgow University's law program. He served as the president of the school's law society and earned an honor's degree. After finishing college, Butler took a year and a half off to live in Los Angeles, where he appeared as an extra in the Kevin Costner/Whitney Houston vehicle The Bodyguard (1992). He traveled back to Canada to be at his father's bedside as he succumbed to cancer. Shortly after his father's death, Butler returned to Scotland to begin a two-year law traineeship in Edinburgh at one of the country's top firms. But he was bored and discontented as a lawyer, and still dreamed about performing. He went to see Trainspotting on-stage at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh and knew he had made the wrong career choice. Soon enough, Butler's unhappiness began to show in his work, and his firm fired him with only a week left in his training. Two days later, at age 25, he moved to London to begin his acting career. Butler took on a series of odd jobs -- from waiting tables to demonstrating clockwork toys at a trade show -- while looking for work as an actor. He was serving as a casting assistant for the play Coriolanus at the Mermaid Theatre when he ran into the show's director, actor Steven Berkoff, at a coffee bar and asked to read for a part. Impressed with the ex-barrister's moxie, Berkoff agreed and Butler secured his first professional acting role. While rehearsing for Coriolanus, he accompanied one of the other actors to an audition for the same stage adaptation of Trainspotting he had seen in Edinburgh and landed the lead role of Mark Renton.

In 1997, with his theater career firmly established, Butler made his big-screen debut opposite Billy Connolly and Judi Dench in Mrs. Brown. Sometime later, he had returned to the film's shooting location, Taymouth Castle, for a picnic when he saw a child drowning in the nearby River Tay. Butler dove into the water and saved the boy. The actor received a Certificate of Bravery from the Royal Humane Society for his selfless act. That same year, he earned a small speaking part as a bad guy in the Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies, before spoofing ex-Wet Wet Wet singer Marti Pellow for the 1998 series The Young Person's Guide to Becoming a Rock Star. Butler finished out the '90s by appearing in the television comedy Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married, as well as returning to the stage to appear opposite Sheila Gish and Rachel Weisz in Suddenly Last Summer in London's West End. Butler began the new millennium with supporting parts in the gangster film Shooters (2000) and the war drama Harrison's Flowers (2000). He then simultaneously landed the high-profile title roles in Wes Craven's Dracula 2000 (2000) and the USA television movie Attila (2001). Produced by the creators of The Mummy (2000) franchise, Attila chronicled the life of the eponymous fifth century barbarian and co-starred veteran actors Tim Curry and Powers Boothe. It also reteamed Butler with his Coriolanus director, Berkoff, who played his uncle in the film. The hype that surrounded both Dracula 2000 and Attila was fueled by CNN's announcement that Butler was the frontrunner to replace Pierce Brosnan as the next James Bond. The following months, however, were anticlimatic for Butler. Dracula 2000 bombed at the box office and Attila, though one of the year's highest-rated television miniseries, proved to be forgettable. The rumors surrounding his involvement with 007 were quickly quelled when Brosnan announced that he was staying on for at least two more Bond films, and the series' producers never contacted Butler. Determined to get back on his feet, Butler signed on with a new agency. He returned to British television for ITV's miniseries The Jury (2000), which also featured Derek Jacobi and Antony Sher, while simultaneously filming a role as Christian Bale's dragon-slaying best friend in the special effects spectacle Reign of Fire (2002). He then quickly landed a supporting role in Renny Harlin's Mindhunters with Val Kilmer and LL Cool J, but then pulled out of the project to play the lead in Richard Donner's long-awaited adaptation of Michael Crichton's best-selling novel Timeline (2003).

It was in 2006 that Butler exploded onto the mainstream scene with his performance of King Leonidas in 300, the ancient tale of the Spartan king and a force of 300 men who stood their ground and fought a vast army of Persians at Thermopylae in 480 B.C. The story was an adaptation of Frank Miller's graphic novel of the same name. Although the film drew some criticism for its protrayal of Xerxes and the Persian forces, the film was a box office triumph and a critical success.

Butler has gone on to star in a number of Hollywood productions and has drawn a fair bit attention over his various relationships with a bevvy of women. The most tabloid coverage among them is his "Are they or aren't they" relationship with Friends star Jennifer Aniston.

Gerard Butler's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average career score: 45
Highest Metascore: 79 Coriolanus
Lowest Metascore: 18 Movie 43
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 27
  2. Negative: 10 out of 27
27 movie reviews
Title: Year: Credit: User score:
tbd Geostorm TBA Cast / Jake tbd
tbd Gods of Egypt Feb 12, 2016 Set tbd
tbd London Has Fallen Oct 2, 2015 Producer / Mike Banning tbd
76 How to Train Your Dragon 2 Jun 13, 2014 Stoick / Stoick The Vast / Stoick / Stoick The Vast 8.4
41 Olympus Has Fallen Mar 22, 2013 Producer / Mike Banning / Mike Banning 5.8
18 Movie 43 Jan 25, 2013 Chaun / Chaun 3.1
27 Playing for Keeps Dec 7, 2012 Producer / George / George 4.9
45 Chasing Mavericks Oct 26, 2012 Executive Producer / Rick 'Frosty' Hesson / Frosty Hesson 6.0
79 Coriolanus Dec 2, 2011 Tullus Aufidius 6.8
43 Machine Gun Preacher Sep 23, 2011 Executive Producer / Sam Childers 7.1
74 How to Train Your Dragon Mar 26, 2010 Stoick 8.8
22 The Bounty Hunter Mar 19, 2010 Milo Boyd 3.7
34 Law Abiding Citizen Oct 16, 2009 Producer / Clyde Shelton 6.7
27 Gamer Sep 4, 2009 Kable/John Tillman 5.4
28 The Ugly Truth Jul 24, 2009 Mike Chadway 5.0
53 RocknRolla Oct 8, 2008 One Two 7.7
55 Nim's Island Apr 4, 2008 Jack Rusoe/Alex Rover 6.7
39 P.S. I Love You Dec 21, 2007 Gerry 6.9
51 300 Mar 9, 2007 King Leonidas 7.1
53 Beowulf & Grendel Jul 7, 2006 Beowulf 6.6
47 The Game of Their Lives Apr 22, 2005 Frank Borghi 7.5
63 Dear Frankie Mar 4, 2005 The Stranger 8.7
40 The Phantom of the Opera Dec 22, 2004 The Phantom 8.3
28 Timeline Nov 26, 2003 Andre Marek 4.3
43 Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life Jul 25, 2003 Terry Sheridan 7.3
39 Reign of Fire Jul 12, 2002 Creedy 6.0
49 Harrison's Flowers Mar 15, 2002 Chris Kumac, Photojournalist 7.4
56 The Cherry Orchard Feb 22, 2002 Yasha 6.3
26 Dracula 2000 Dec 22, 2000 Dracula 7.2
71 Her Majesty, Mrs. Brown Jul 18, 1997 Archie Brown 7.3