My friend Holly has recently had a thing for Gerard Butler. I'd never seen Phantom of the Opera—not the movie, anyway; I did see the musical with Robert Guillaume, of all people, as the Phantom—so I never got the appeal. (I'd forgotten that he was the love interest in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, which I have seen.) I also heard a rumor that he was in line to play James Bond before Daniel Craig got the job, but other than that, he was only on my radar as That Actor Holly Has a Thing For.
Today, I got to attend a presentation of 300, an adaptation of the Frank Miller graphic novel that stars Butler as Leonidas, king of Sparta. The film's done in a hyper-stylized manner, somewhat like Sin City, although a little less cartoony. The director, Zack Snyder, was there, and he showed us several clips from the film, prefacing each with a few comments. The movie looks interesting, and it's visually stunning. I was curious to check out this Gerard Butler once and for all, but because of the film's graphic style, he didn't look real, and anyway he had this big beard that made him just look like, well, a muscley guy with a beard. (Here's a picture from the film. The tall guy, believe it or not, is the useless new character Paolo on Lost.)
Then there was a Q&A session with Snyder, Frank Miller, and surprise guest Gerard Butler. They headed for director's chairs in the front of the screening room. I was in the second row, about ten feet away from Mr. Butler's chair, and directly in his line of vision. He took his seat and looked up. And oh. My. God. This, my friends, is a man. Without a doubt, I was looking at the sexiest man I had ever seen in my life. Suddenly, I didn't know what to do with my hands. I was embarrassed to be dressed in no more than a t-shirt and ill-fitting cords. Whenever he looked at me (and he looked at me more than once, I'm positive), my entire body hummed. My goodness, I got the vapors right there in my cushy little screening room seat.
Oh, and for the record, he was funny and charming, with the most adorable Scottish accent. And it was his birthday. After the Q&A, I high-tailed it out of there, so sure that if I stayed for the reception, I would feel compelled to offer to bake him a cake or fall down weeping at his feet or otherwise do something to humiliate myself.
Anyway, the point of this entire post is to say: Holly, you were right. Boy, were you ever right.