Gerard Butler's Rehab Stint Shows Hollywood Expects Too Much

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gerard butlerMost people's first reaction to the news about Gerard Butler doing a stint at the Betty Ford Center was probably something like, "Whatever, another celeb in rehab, yawn." But Butler's story isn't the typical excess-driven Hollywood substance abuse saga: The actor's reported dependence on prescription pain meds was triggered by the physical demands of his role in 300, exacerbated by injuries sustained while filming the surfing movie Of Men and Mavericks.

Considering how many other actors (everyone from Brad Pitt and Russell Crowe to Halle Berry and Orlando Bloom, to name a few) have put themselves through similarly punishing regimes for films, Butler's situation begs the question: Is Hollywood making unrealistic physical demands of its stars?

For actors like Butler, on-the-job injuries aren't exactly on the level of paper cuts or even eye strain. This is how he described the state of his body post-300:

Afterwards I had tendinitis in almost every part of my body. I had a bad injury in my forearm, which still comes up if I go to the gym. I had a rotator cuff injury and I pulled my hip flexer. Then there was a lot of whacks. Whenever you're doing a lot of sword fighting you're always getting whacked in the head or punched.

Um ... ouch! Pass the pain meds, please. Then there was the Of Men and Mavericks incident: Butler was hospitalized while filming the movie about big-wave surfing legend Jay Moriarity in Northern California for an accident almost identical to the one that killed a pro surfer in the same spot earlier that year. (He wiped out and was held underwater for two waves before being hit in the head by four to five more.)

Pretty scary stuff. The substance abuse makes more and more sense (his addiction to painkillers allegedly led to problems with cocaine and alcohol abuse).

They still have stunt people in Hollywood, right? I don't get why actors are suddenly doing all this daredevil-ish stuff. Are studios/producers/directors demanding as much, or is it a question of personal pride and/or level of dedication?

Either way, sounds like Gerard Butler is lucky to be alive -- in rehab or not.

Do you think Hollywood expects actors to take too many physical risks?


Image via Splash

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nonmember avatar Michelle

UH, so that's great that he's "hands on" when it comes to his movie stunts, but "his addiction to painkillers allegedly led to problems with cocaine and alcohol abuse"?????? I don't know about all of you, but when was the last time you self-medicated with cocaine?!!?? This has absolutely nothing to do with the physicality of his job--he obviously has other issues going on. I have no problem with people (famous or not) owning up to substance abuse and getting help. As a matter of fact, I applaud them for trying to get better. But seriously? I am supposed to feel sorry for Gerard? Try again.

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

If you get addicted to pain killers while taking them for a medical problem then you seek help then. You don't go out and get cocaine. If he was on them for any length of time them his doctor should have brought it up even if he didn't. They are known to be highly addictive so doctors should address the addiction issue wih any patient who will be on them for more than a few day.

godde... goddess99

I think it is up to the actors if they want to take those risks. and alot of actors do.. But no 1 forces them to take pain killers for months or years. Just another addict.

slw123 slw123

There are stunt actors for a reason, should they choose not to use them....that's their problem.  Blaming your drug abuse on pain from stunts, not gonna fly for me.

Karen Watts

Ya'll are harsh. I give Gerry kudos for getting help before he is another Heath Ledger, Whitney Huston, and the hundreds of others who left us before their time. Hate that he was in rehab and really hope it 'sticks' cuz the world would be a much less exciting place without Gerard Butler. I think the fact that he does his own stunts is more about his acting chops and desire to bring realism to his work. (Call me Gerry, I'll help you recover.)

MamaB... MamaBear2cubs

There are stunt doubles for a reason.

luvfo... luvforfour

They get paid MILLIONS! I comend them for "doing it all", again they get paid millions!

Bmat Bmat

I don't think that risks should be taken with the health of the actors.

Kmakk... Kmakksmom

It all depends on the actor if they want to put themselves through those risks or not *and if not to have stunt doubles*.

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