Acting with a Cape, Shield, Sword and Not Much Clothing: Gerard Butler’s mostly naked (a codpiece covers the essentials), but the cape was the real difficult part of his attire. “That’s all there was to deal with there. It takes a lot more work – not just the cape because to be honest you could work out ways to make sure the cape wasn’t getting in the way, but it’s always going to happen. That thing has a life of its own and I’d think sometimes it wanted to get involved in the battle. It was hard because it flies around and gets stuck inside your cape, and you have to shout immediately because there are 50 guys running to hit you with a sword or spear and after you’ve made that mistake and you can’t defend yourself, you’ll get hurt.”
And Speaking of Getting Hurt: He did, every single day. “And not because the stunt guys weren’t amazing, but 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. One of the best ones I did, I turned to do this move and it was so well done I thought. It went right into the side of somebody’s shield and it just caught the edge of it and it ripped. My hands were cut to shreds… They wouldn’t even let me fly. The next day I tried to fly, we finished, packed all my stuff and went to the airport. The immigration woman said, ‘So you’re going to the States?’ I said, ‘Yes I am.’ She said, ‘What’s up with your hands?’ And I said I’d been scraping the ground and doing a film with swords. She said, ‘Come with me.’ So I missed my flight; I had to take all my stuff back home again.”
Butler swears it’s a true story. “Yeah! And my driver, who became a good friend of mine, he was an assistant as well, I’d just said goodbye to him, given him a hug and said, ‘I’ll miss you, man. Thanks for everything.’ Meanwhile he goes to get breakfast in the airport and meanwhile I go to get grilled, and they say, ‘Okay, you’re fine to go.’ So my flight is missed, I walk back out, get all my stuff and I’m walking out and he’s walking back from the breakfast place.
They eventually let me in but what happened was she sees a guy coming through, she didn’t recognize me, she just sees this guy who looks a little crazy. I promised her the craziness in my eyes and my hands, which were all cut to shreds, and I gave her a really silly answer. I told her, ‘I’m an actor and doing a film with swords.’”