He had to get rid of his addiction

With 300, Zack Snyder has made one of the most iconic comic book adaptations ever. Alongside Robert Rodriguez’s Sin City, the martial battle epic by the later DC director had a significant impact on the action and look of the genre.

Outside of the production, 300 also marked a signature role for acting star Gerard Butler, who played the lead role as King Leonidas. At that time, he only got the part under one crucial condition – which he has not been able to fulfill to this day.

Gerard Butler had to quit smoking for 300

Slash Film recalled a Hollywood Reporter interview with then-Warner Bros. President Alan Horn, in which he revealed that he had been in favor of casting Butler as Leonidas initially thought to be a mistake. The star only got the role after he quit smoking:

Butler had done The Phantom of the Opera for us. I said, ‘I don’t see him in the role.’ To me, he was the Phantom. A few days later, I got a call from this Gerard Butler. He said, ‘Can I come see you?’ […] So he comes to me, and he’s really physically impressive. I knew from Phantom of the Opera that he smoked, and I thought I smelled it on him, so I said, ‘Okay, you can have the part. One condition: You have to stop smoking.‘ He said, ‘Are you serious?’ I said, ‘Give me your word and she’s yours.’ And he said, ‘I give you my word.’

The star kept his promise, but his cigarette abstinence did not last.

You can watch another 300 trailer here:

300 – Trailer (German)

Gerard Butler cannot quit smoking permanently

The Slash Film article also recalls a 2012 Daily Record report in which Butler spoke about his nicotine addiction. The star is said to have tried to quit smoking over 40 times. He even allowed himself to be hypnotized 23 times. Apparently it didn’t help much, because Butler wasn’t seen smoking in public again until 2023.

If you want to watch 300 again, all you need is a Netflix subscription. You can currently stream the Zack Snyder blockbuster starring Gerard Butler here.