Gerard Butler and Aaron Eckhart visit British troops to promote Olympus Has Fallen


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The Independent Culture

Hollywood heroes Gerard Butler and Aaron Eckhart dropped in to see British troops last night, ahead of a special screening of their new movie.

The actors visited Wellington Barracks in central London to meet a number of soldiers who are based in the capital and carry out public duties.

They met several soldiers from various Guards Regiments and the Household Cavalry, thanking them for their work, before a special preview screening of new film Olympus Has Fallen at the barracks.

In the film, released on 17 April, 43-year-old Butler plays a disgraced former US Secret Service man battling to save the world when Korean terrorists take over the White House.

Speaking earlier this week at the premiere at the BFI Imax in London, Butler said: "To me you watch this universally, you don't have to be American. It's an attack on the free world. It could just as easily be Downing Street, it could be anywhere."

The star - who was also a producer on the film - revealed how he was left battered and bruised by the stunt scenes, so much so he worried he had seriously damaged his arm.

"I broke two little bones in my neck. My arm turned black from getting punched in my arm for literally two days. It looked like a dead person's arm, it was weird.

"I hurt my throat, I don't even know how that happened. But you know what, that's all part of it. You're in it! And you come out feeling like you're really in the White House fighting terrorists."

Eckhart, 45, plays the President of the United States - a role he had always dreamed of.

At the premiere, he said: "It's interesting as an actor playing a president, because every American kid grows up wanting to be a president."

But he admitted it was frustrating not being in the centre of the action, as he spends much of the film chained up.

Eckhart said: "You always want to hit somebody, you always want to be more proactive. I tried to use my mind more. But the challenge was to keep up that intensity while being chained up."