Actor Gerard Butler shocked reporters this week after admitting he was shot twice in the head while filming the newly released film “Machine Gun Preacher” on location in South Africa.
Butler, at the premiere of the new movie this weekend, described the incident as a “bloody dilemma.”
“Machine Gun Preacher” is a film based on the true story of an unyielding Christian minister who opens an orphanage in war-torn south Sudan.
Butler, 41, says he did his own stunts.
One day, while filming, the actor’s head was hit twice in quick succession by shells.
"A shell hit me, slit my head, it was pouring with blood,” Gerard told The Daily Star.
"About 20 minutes later, we went again and another shell hit me. Within half an inch of the first one. It was a shell, but it sounds better to get shot," he said.
Reports say both shells were shot from co-star Souleymane Sy Savane's gun. Butler also said he ripped a tendon in his leg while filming the same scene and has scars down his back from other injuries.
"I couldn't walk for two weeks once. I have so many tendons that I have hurt," he said.
Film crews witnessing the incidents during the scene say “it was pretty intense.”
Butler, now healed, says he felt as though his chances of dying on the set “were slim.”
“Listen, you do a movie like this and you get into a few accidents,” Gerard told reporters.
The film is based on the life of violent drug addict-turned-preacher Sam Childers who after becoming a Christian travels to Sudan to volunteer at a construction project. He sees the horrors of war and cannot help but do what he can to protect orphaned children in southern Sudan.
The action-packed movie, which played in New York and Los Angeles this weekend, brought in respectable per-theater average of $11,000, reports The Los Angeles Times.
Because of the picture's strong religious themes, Relativity Media is marketing it to a faith-based audience. Some pastors are referring to the movie in their sermons, and the film has been screened for various church groups, according to Relativity.
Childers told reporters at the Beverly Hills premier that he did not think Butler could pull the part off at first.
“But I’ll tell you what – the guy does an unbelievable job.”
Lionsgate is still releasing the film, which had a budget of about $30 million, internationally.