Gerard Butler's Surfing Accident: 'Chasing Mavericks' Star Recalls Scary Near-Death Experience (VIDEO)

10/22/2012 01:54 pm ET

Gerard Butler has fought legions of Persian soldiers ("300"), the Lord's Resistance Army ("Machine Gun Preacher") and even Katherine Heigl ("The Ugly Truth"), but his biggest battle was off-screen, with a wave that almost took his life.

Butler was seriously injured while filming the new surfing drama "Chasing Mavericks" in 2011. "It was a pretty close call," the actor told UK talk show host Graham Norton earlier this year. On Monday's "Good Morning America," Butler showed a video of the incident for the first time.

"It look like a tsunami coming in," Butler said as footage of the wave crashing over him rolled. "I was down. I just didn't come back up, really. I just started to think, 'Wow, I'm going to die making a movie.'"

Butler was caught in what's called a "two-wave hold down," which is where one wave knocks the person too deep to get to the surface before another wave hits. Fortunately, he survived the incident.

"I was going to go back that day," he told Norton. "I was actually in the ambulance and waned to go back, which was a little crazy, but it's pretty addictive."

Watch Butler talk about his ordeal above. "Chasing Mavericks" is out in theaters on Oct. 26.

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