Gerard Butler On Filming 'Olympus Has Fallen' -- And The Many Injuries That Came With It

The hunky Scottish actor helps save the White House in the new action-thriller, out Friday.

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Gerard Butler returns to the big screen on Friday in the action-adventure drama Olympus Has Fallen.

In it, he plays a disgraced Secret Service agent who attempts to make good with the President (Aaron Eckhart) after the White House is invaded by North Korean terrorists.

The film, on which he served as a producer, allowed him to stretch his Hollywood muscles, both on and off the camera.

"The reason I started doing it is so [I] could have as much influence as possible over the script," he told Celebuzz earlier this month in New York City.

"We ripped this script apart," he said. "We built it to be the freshest, most modern, heart-pounding and provocative action-thriller, and yet give it some sophistication and interesting characters that you could follow and get connected with through the journey. I was probably doing that more than I was acting. [Laughs]"

That last line was clearly an understatement from Butler, who had to act out some of the bloodiest, most dramatic fight scenes captured on film in recent years.

Naturally, he suffered a couple of bruises along the way.

"I actually started taking photos of my injuries," he said. "I cut both of my hands ... My arm went black all the way to my elbow. I was hit in the eye but a bullet casing; it hit a wall and hit me in the eye, and it hit me so hard I felt like I was punched in the face. You're always getting hit by debris from explosions."

the fighting itself, I was being smashed around, and I was smashing people around. You're doing it and you're in it and you're not thinking about it."

Olympus Has Fallen will likely be embraced by fans who grew to love Butler in action movies like 300, especially after his career became synonymous with romantic comedies.

Looking back, however, Butler says there's been much more to his career than that.

"I made a Shakespeare movie -- Coriolanus, with Ralph Fiennes -- which that was a pretty tough, intense character," he said." "[I made] Machine Gun Preacher. Whether people saw it or not, that was a guy who goes to the end, both emotionally psychologically. That was about as intense as it comes in terms of taking on a character."

"Unfortunately, they're not always the ones that they see. So people say, you've been making romantic comedies. Actually, no. Since then, I did a couple," he continued.

"My mandate is always try always keep it interesting and keep challenging yourself. [So] It felt time to go back to that kind of heroic, mythical element, about a guy who has to face his own inner-demons while trying to fight the outer demons, as well, and go on this journey that feels impossible, but brings out all the aspects of a human being that we aspire to be." Olympus Has Fallen opens nationwide on Friday.

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