But it was six years later in 300, based on Frank Miller’s graphic novel retelling the Battle of Thermopylae, that the 6ft 2in Butler’s physical prowess (the jaw-dropping result of training six hours a day) got him noticed.
After his father’s death, Butler’s naturally hedonistic streak took hold.
'Ever since I was a child, I have loved being the centre of attention but similarly I can’t remember a time in my life that I haven’t battled with all sorts of quandaries, fears and weaknesses.’ When Gerard James Butler was six months old, his parents (along with his older siblings, Brian and Lynn) emigrated from Scotland to Montreal, Canada.
Eighteen months later, her marriage in tatters, Margaret Butler returned – without her husband – to a suburb of Glasgow to bring up her three children.
'He’s tough, and crazy, but he also has this boy-man quality that makes you want to take care of him,’ Snyder says.
'I have always had this deep sense of loneliness,’ Butler reveals at one point.