01/09/2012 01:09 am ET Updated Mar 09, 2012

'The Graham Norton Show': Gerard Butler Relives Near-Death Surfing Experience (VIDEO)

No matter how tough someone might be, when Mother Nature decides to have her way with them, they've no choice but to roll with it and wait until it's over. Gerard Butler learned that first-hand once while surfing. He had an experience so traumatic he felt he was reliving it while telling the story on "The Graham Norton Show" (Sat., 10 p.m. EST on BBC America).

"I'm with three of the best surfers in the world, and they're just going, 'Paddle, Gerry! Paddle!'" Butler said of the moment before the first wave took him. They came out of nowhere and were topping out at nearly 30 feet high. Anyone who's been in the ocean can attest to the random huge waves that seem to come from nowhere, and vanish just as quickly.

Before he could regain himself and find the surface, another wave took him and kept him tumbling underwater. "Sometimes you're only under for 10 to 15 seconds, but you feel like you're under for two minutes," he said. "But this I was under for almost a minute." That's a very long time under those circumstances.

Memories of the near-death surfing experience surfaced because of his forthcoming film "Of Men and Mavericks," based on the life of surfer Jay Moriarty. It was during filming that Butler suffered the accident, and even was taken to a hospital as a precaution, though everything turned out fine.

"The Graham Norton Show" airs every Saturday night at 10 p.m. EST on BBC America.

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