Gerard Butler says he “almost killed” Hilary Swank during one of the most iconic scenes in their 2007 tear-jerking romantic drama P.S. I Love You.
During an appearance on The Drew Barrymore Show, Butler explained how he’d gone into the movie with the utmost care and respect for Swank, but he still ended up accidentally injuring her.
“I remember saying to the director, ‘I’m not going to think about myself in this movie, I’m only going to think about her, make sure she’s okay, she’s cool. ‘Because that’s kind of who this guy was. I’ve got to tell you, it made the experience so much more fun when I got out of my own head,” Butler says in the interview, which you can watch above.
“She’s so cool and so great to work with, I almost killed her,” he said of Swank.
The incident happened when the two actors were shooting the scene in which Butler’s character, Gerry— a happy-go-lucky Irishman who begins writing his wife letters to read after he dies of a brain tumor, hence the movie’s title — is dancing for Swank’s character, Holly Kennedy — who struggles to continue living her life after the loss of her husband, Gerry — in nothing but boxers, suspenders, and socks.
Butler says he “almost took her eye out” during a planned move in which he flicks a suspender clip in the air.
“You know the scene where I’m dancing and I have the, what do you call them, suspenders? I shot that scene for a day and a half, and I had to dance like an idiot in the suspenders. It was like that first moment in 300 — I can’t believe I’m doing this dance in the boxer shorts. At one point, the clip, which was a crocodile clip, got stuck in the television as I’m crawling towards her, and she’s right in front of me and she’s laughing hysterically.
“The camera people had these plastic fronts to protect themselves from this crocodile [clip] — it was so dangerous, because I had to ping it, and it would go past my face. And this time, I’m crawling towards the bed, it gets stuck, it releases, flies over my head, hits her in the head, slashes her head,” Butler explains.
“I mean, I cut her open. You could even see the teeth of the [crocodile clip]. She had to get taken to the hospital,” he continues. “Imagine the studio — in three seconds, everyone’s gone. I’m just sitting there in my boxer shorts and my boots and a pair of socks, and I just started crying. I just scarred Hilary Swank, I almost took her eye out. I just made a fool of myself for two days and this is all I have to show for it.”
Butler and Barrymore laughed as the actor explained the hilarious debacle. But don’t worry, Hilary Swank recovered quickly from the minor injury and the movie continued on as planned.
Directed by Richard LaGravenese, P.S. I Love You also stars Harry Connick, Jr., Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Lisa Kudrow, Gina Gershon, James Marsters, and Kathy Bates.
Watch more of Gerard Butler on The Drew Barrymore Show above — he shares more anecdotes about filming some of his most famous roles, including The Phantom of the Opera, 300, The Ugly Truth, and The Bounty Hunter.
You can also stream P.S. I Love You on Netflix.
Main Image: Gerard Butler in P.S. I Love You (2007) Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures / Summit Entertainment