Gerard Butler talks about his 'Machine Gun Preacher' head injury (Video)
Gerard Butler nails his tough guy roles with gusto, but the actor was put to the test when he was hit with stray bullet casings during filming for his newest flick, "Machine Gun Preacher."
"We didn't really didn't think this scene out," Butler told OnTheRedCarpet.com co-host Chris Balish at the film's Hollywood premiere. "We're all standing in a line and having a shoot-out and even though they're blank bullets, the actual bullet casings still come out the side and they're red-hot and they're moving fast. I was standing there shooting and I get smacked in the head and I go down and when I get up, my head's pouring blood."
"So I go okay, we've got to be careful because we're all standing right next to each other," Gerard continued. "But I guess we weren't that careful, because the very next take, I'm shooting again and ping! another one! My head's pouring, I had just gotten rid of the blood from the last one and it hits me again... but I'm all fine now, I'm all healed."
"Machine Gun Preacher" is based on the true story of Sam Childers, a man who decides to leave his outlaw life behind in order to crusade for hundreds of Sudanese children who've been forced to become soldiers.
"You feel the power of this message completely," Butler said of his new film. "When I read the script, I thought 'I really want to tell that [story].' If people feel one-tenth of what I felt when I read that script, then it's going to be a really powerful experience."
Though "Machine Gun Preacher" obviously has a strong heart, Butler insisted that it is so much more than a message because of the film's charismatic subject -- Sam Childers, who also talked to OnTheRedCarpet.com at the film's premiere.
"If a movie is just a message, that can be really dull," Butler explained. "The story is just such an adventure and so colorful - this man and what he did and how he went about it - what a bad-ass and a funny guy and dark and a lot of pain, everything. So it just felt like such a great role to get into and a great story that I think people will really dig."
The actor recently stepped out at the Toronto International Film Festival in a sleek suit, with a dramatically slimmer look.
"I'm prepping for a surf movie," the 41-year-old told People magazine. "So I'm surfing every day for 'Maverick's.'"
His upcoming role also explains why he's been seen with blond hair recently. In the movie, Butler plays Rick "Frosty" Hesson, the mentor to surfer Jay Moriarty. Moriarty was a surf champion who died at age 21 in 2001. The actor, who is 6 feet 2 inches, once weighed 197 pounds when he did "300."
For his new work out the actor told Us Weekly he's "just doing a lot of cardio and extremely watching what I eat. I stopped lifting big weights and I'm doing yoga."
Check out the trailer for "Machine Gun Preacher" below.
Additional reporting by Chris Balish, co-host of KABC Television's entertainment show "On The Red Carpet" (check for local TV listings).