Hollywood actor Gerard Butler, who has been going with the thin blond haired surfer look for his upcoming acting role as a big-wave surfboarder in the film “Of Men and Mavericks,” got a taste of what it is actually like to tempt the waves at Northern California’s legendary Mavericks surf spot.
This past Sunday, Gerard Butler was shooting a scene that called for him to paddle his surfboard out with fellow “real” surfers Greg Long, Zach Wormhoudt and Peter Mel when the group happened upon a series of much larger than expected waves on the inside of the break.
“They were steering clear of a set of waves in the 15-foot range when a much larger set loomed and broke in front of the four of them,” Wormhoudt told local media. The large waves broke on top of the group and Butler was actually held underwater then washed through to the nearby rocks, all while tethered to his surfboard, reportedly a large wave which was about 10 feet long.
Once Butler surfaced, he was picked up by a jet ski rider and ended up being taken to the hospital, where he was subsequently released.
Butler wasn’t an experienced surfboarder prior to accepting this role, which called for him to confront one of the most life-threatening wave breaks in all of the world. Just to give you some perspective on how dangerous it is to surf at Mavericks, one of the most accomplished big-wave surfboarders in the history of surfing, Mark Foo, died there in 1994.
Wormhoudt said that Butler had been working very hard at improving his surfing skills, and the group took a “conservative line” while paddling out Sunday. They discussed what to do whenever they get mowed down by big waves.
“Everything he was doing was within reason,” Wormhoudt said. “We took like four to five pretty big waves on the head. Basically there’s nothing you can do.”
For those who don’t know Gerard Butler is a method actor and from the time he accepts a role to the completion of the film he lives the character he’s playing. Hopefully the surfer he is playing in this film has some self preservation instincts that will keep him safe when the next big wave comes around.