That role earned him a Satellite Award nomination for Best Actor.Although Attila and The Phantom of the Opera were important breaks, it was only in 2007 that Butler gained worldwide recognition for his portrayal of King Leonidas in Zack Snyder's fantasy war film 300.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.
I wanted very much to be famous." Unable to win any acting roles initially, he worked in a variety of jobs including as a waiter, a telemarketer and a demonstrator of how toys work at fairs.
Whilst in London, he met an old friend from his teenage days in the Scottish Youth Theatre, who was now a London casting director.
He played military leader Tullus Aufidius in the 2011 film Coriolanus, a modernized adaptation of Shakespeare's tragedy of the same name.
He also played Sam Childers in the 2011 action biopic Machine Gun Preacher.
He also attended Scottish Youth Theatre while a teenager.