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The hunky 6ft 2 actor made quite an impression as he chatted in the Toronto studio
Photo: © MuchMusic
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Gerard admits that playing the Spartan king, Leonidas, was an immensely physical challenge
Photo: © MuchMusic

Fighting fit Gerard on top form in Toronto

8 MARCH 2007

Action-man Gerard Butler is certainly not one to shy away from challenging, high energy roles. Having starred as a daredevil marine alongside Angelina Jolie in the action-packed flick Tomb Raider, the Glasgow-born star is now set to take on the might of the Persian army, playing a Spartan soldier in 300.

Appearing on Toronto's MuchMusic show, the 37-year-old said that it had taken months of training to hone his warrior physique. Gerard admitted that he was not on top form when filming began, and had to train extensively to bulk up for the extremely physical role. "It was a lot of work from me," he said.

The actor revealed that he and his fellow cast mates competed in 'warrior workouts' in preparation for the role, undergoing a boot camp-style training programme, and often returned from a day on set exhausted from the grueling schedule and fight scenes. "You can’t be around this kind of equipment and going through this kind of stuff and be so pumped up, and not hurt yourself," he explained.

However, it is not the first time that Gerard has had to undertake intense preparations for a film. Despite his musical inexperience, the versatile actor managed to land the coveted lead role in 2004 flick The Phantom Of The Opera, and Gerard believes that this gave him the confidence to tackle his latest role.

"On Phantom I hadn't had a single singing lesson in my life…so getting buff for 300 was a similar feat," said the newly chiseled thesp. "I think it's fear…I operate well with fear and stress, like a Spartan…I think there is a lot of Spartan in me."

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