Gerard Butler Reveals How He Really Got Ripped To Play Leonidas In 300

As the 15th anniversary of “300” approaches, Gerard Butler reflected in an exclusive interview with Looper for his new film, “Copshop,” on the crushing preparation he undertook to bring some muscle to Leonidas. And while the actor and his “Copshop” co-star, Alexis Louder, joked around that his abs were fake in the film (“Everything on me is fake! This is a fake face,” Butler cracked, motioning to his mug), he clarified that he did indeed take to extreme measures to get ripped for the role.

“They were real. I actually could stick my fingers up to there in my abs,” Butler told Looper, motioning to his abdominal area. “I was training for months. I mean, by the time I’d finished, I’d been training for nine months, and I was on a six-hour day regime.”

The training, Butler added, didn’t end when production on “300” began. “Even when I was filming, I was pumping before every take and training at lunch and training at night,” Butler recalled. “Yeah, I paid the price after, but it wasn’t just for the body. It was also for the attitude … because I kept thinking, ‘These guys were willing to die in any moment, so the least I could do would be willing to die in that moment to recreate who they were.'”

Released in the spring of 2007, “300” went on to earn more than $456 million in ticket sales at the worldwide box office (via Box Office Mojo) and shot Butler’s and Snyder’s careers into the stratosphere. Butler’s Leonidas appeared in flashback scenes in the 2014 prequel-slash-sequel “300: Rise of an Empire” — starring Eva Green, Sullivan Stapleton, and Lena Headey — which was set before, during, and after the events of “300.”

An action crime thriller that also stars Frank Grillo, “Copshop” opens in theaters nationwide Friday, September 17, while “300” will celebrate the 15th anniversary of its release on March 9, 2022.


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