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Gerard Butler may have played tough guy characters like King Leonidas in 300, but it turns out that he’s not invincible — and that water may be his greatest nemesis.
The Scottish actor, who stars as real-life surfer Frosty Hesson in Chasing Mavericks, described his surfing skills as non-existent before he started working on the film.
“Surfing ability for me was pretty much zero,” the actor told The Hollywood Reporter. “After [the movie], was maybe just a little bit worse.”
The film, co-directed by Curtis Hanson and Michael Apted, follows a young surfer named Jay Moriarity (newcomer Jonny Weston) who is determined to surf America’s most dangerous wave, aka Mavericks, in Northern California.
Weston tells THR that his own surfing skills were a bit more advanced than Butler’s. While he had been surfing for about 10 years, he was lucky enough to be trained by big wave surfer Jeff Clark for the film.
“I was super fortunate,” says Weston. “He invented Mavericks, he discovered it.”
Butler was not as fortunate when it came to shooting the movie. The actor took a hard fall and ended up in the hospital during filming.
“I know when it came out, people were like, ‘Oh, he got hit down and grazed his knee.’ But it was pretty serious,” Butler tells THR.
Butler says professional surfer Zach Wormhoudt — who was also surfing that day and was hit by the same wave – puts it as “one of his top five wipeouts.”
While Butler is no stranger to accidents on set, he says this was by far the most dangerous incident.
“I’ve been in car accidents, I’ve been smashed on the edge of a roof — almost went over — I’ve been hit by a lot of stuff, almost lost my eye on my last movie — I was hit by a bullet casing,” he tells THR, and then shows our cameras his black-and-blue finger nail from a recent fight sequence.
“This was I think by far the most dangerous in my life, I think that was the closest I’ve come,” he adds.
Chasing Mavericks opens in theaters on Oct. 26.
Email: Rebecca.Ford@thr.com; Twitter: @Beccamford
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