Butler began his intense workout four months before a boot camp which allowed him to experience a Spartan warrior’s life. He maintained the program throughout the 60-day shoot. A memorable experience for him was the bear crawl in which he had to race with fellow actors on hands and feet after grueling squats. He injured his hip flexor muscle in the process. The workout program that he went through is now known as the Spartan workout.
Director Zack Snyder says, “You don’t look at a bunch of Spartans and go, “I wonder which guy is going to pop out and be the king. In one shot you want to go, ‘OK, that’s him,’ and that was how I felt about Gerry.”
For a look at the “Spartan training” of Butler, go to http://300themovie.warnerbros.com/ and open Making of 300 > Video Journals > 3. Spartan Training.
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