The local webs are abuzz this a.m. with news that movie star and convincing Greek warrior Gerard Butler got held under water and maybe could have drowned yesterday while filming a scene for the upcoming film Of Men and Mavericks. Butler was paddling out with surfer costars Greg Long, Zach Wormhoudt, and Peter Mel when they got unexpectedly slammed by a big set of waves in the 20+ foot range. All four men "took like four to five pretty big waves on the head," according to Wormhoudt, and Butler had to get pulled out of the water by a jetski rescuer. Butler, shaken up but conscious, was taken to Stanford Medical Center for observation.

As the Tribune reports:

Butler had not surfed much before the movie, but he made a big effort to improve his surfing and water skills for the movie, Wormhoudt said.

Wormhoudt said they took a "conservative line" while paddling out Sunday and talked about what to do if they got mowed down by big waves. Butler wasn't trying to show off, Wormhoudt said.

"Everything he was doing was within reason," he said.


Of Men and Mavericks, directed by Curtis Hanson and due out next fall, has been filming around Pleasure Point recently, and was filming in Santa Cruz in October. The movie follows the story of Jay Moriarty (played by Jonny Weston) who burst on the Mavericks scene at age 16 only to die in 2001 in a free-diving accident, the day before his 23rd birthday. Butler plays Frosty Hesson, Moriarty's mentor. See a few stills here.

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