Gerard Butler gave fans some new background information on 300 recently, revealing that he got the job all thanks to Alan Horn. Butler said that the then-Warner Bros. executive vouched for him on the production, giving him the chance to play one of his most lauded roles.
Butler talked about several of his most iconic roles over the years in his new interview with GQ last month. The actor touched on the 2004 film adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera, which was a Warner Bros. production. He explained that he and Horn built a rapport there, before Butler was a Spartan king and before Horn was the chief creative officer of Disney. When the studio began casting 300 shortly after, Butler said that Horn gave him a chance.
"I wanted that role so badly," he said, "and I remember being told by the producers, 'we want you, but we're scared to go to Alan Horn' -- who's the president of Warner Bros. -- 'just in case he doesn't want you, and then it's gonna hurt our movie, we're gonna look stupid. So we know you know Alan... through The Phantom of the Opera, so why don't you call him?'"
Butler did just that, he said, but felt like he was just calling in a favor. The signals got a little mixed, and Butler decided to simply ask for the part on the merits of his acting rather than his Hollywood connections.
"I called him... and I said 'Alan, hey, it's Gerry Butler,'" Butler recalled. "He said 'How are you Gerry? I know why you're calling, and let me tell you, there's a process. You have to be nominated by them--' and I wanted to say 'I have been! They're the ones that told me to call you!' But I didn't say that."
In the end, Butler felt it came down to Horn's faith in his performance. Setting aside the producers' preference for him, he asked for a chance to play the role that he wanted so badly, and Horn obliged.
"But, I pushed. It's these little moments in your life that make all the difference," he said. "I said 'I know, but...' And he said 'I'll tell you what, come in for a coffee.'"
"I went in for a coffee, and I had my whole speech prepared saying 'everything I've done in my life has led to this moment, to play this man, and I promise you if you give me a chance I will not let you down,'" Butler said. "And he did give me the chance! And the rest of it was me trying to hold up my end of the bargain."0comments
Horn is best-known to the general populous these days for firing director James Gunn from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Horn ultimately rehired Gunn, and earlier this year he went from the chairman of Walt Disney Studios to the chief creative officer or CCO of the company.