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At age 30, Butler decided to move to Los Angeles; there he won parts in Dracula 2000, Tomb Raider 2, Dear Frankie, and Phantom of the Opera.

In London, Butler held a series of odd jobs until being cast by actor and director Steven Berkoff (who later appeared alongside him in Attila (2001)) in a stage production of Coriolanus.

, starring Gerard Butler and Morgan Freeman, is on track for a number one debut at the box office this weekend!

The film is surpassing expectations to earn million for its first weekend, a great hold for the third movie in the franchise.

Then aged 27, Butler had his first professional acting job.

Less than a year later, he won a part in a theatre adaptation of Trainspotting, which he performed at the Edinburgh Festival.

At that time, he was her boyfriend and her assistant.

She took him to an audition for Steven Berkoff's play of Coriolanus.

and then Russell Mulcahy's Tale of the Mummy (1998).

After this meeting, Butler cried for hours, and recalled later: "That emotion showed me how much pain can sit in this body of yours; pain and sorrow that you don’t know you have until it is unleashed." While Butler was a 22-year-old student, his father was diagnosed with cancer and died.

He said of this period in his life: "I had gone from a 16-year-old who couldn't wait to grasp life to a 22-year-old who didn't care if he died in his sleep." Before his final year of law school, Butler took a year off to live in California.

He then was cast as the role of Erik, The Phantom in Joel Schumacher's 2004 film adaptation of the musical The Phantom of the Opera alongside Emmy Rossum.

That role earned him a Satellite Award nomination for Best Actor.

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