Gerard Butler watches surfers take on 30ft waves in Malibu before witnessing famed surfer Laird Hamilton rescue a man's life
Gerard Butler portrayed a surf legend in the 2011 movie Chasing Mavericks, where he learned how to ride the big waves.
And on Wednesday, the Scottish actor reminisced about his former role as he watched surfers take on massive waves at Surfrider Beach in Malibu, California.
The 44-year-old stood beachside taking pictures of those who challenged the nearly 30ft swells before witnessing Laird Hamilton save a man from drowning.
Surf memories: Actor Gerard Butler watched local surfers take on 30ft swells at Surfrider Beach in Malibu, California on Wednesday
Acting as spectator for the day, Gerard was dressed casually in a navy T-shirt, denim jeans and black sneakers.
He styled his outfit with multiple bracelets on his left wrist and shielded his eyes from the sun with black aviator sunglasses.
The star was one of many witnesses who watched as famed surfer Laird rescued a man who was caught fighting for his life in historically powerful waves off the Malibu coast that same day.
Spectator for the day: The 44-year-old stood beachside taking pictures of those who challenged the nearly the enormous waves as well as chatting with fellow onlookers
A day earlier on Tuesday, a surfer died after being pulled from the water but it was not clear whether the death was related to the surf or a medical condition.
Many thrill-seeking surfriders visited the Southern California beaches to experience the large waves kicked up by Hurricane Marie in the Pacific Ocean about 800 miles west of the southern tip of Mexico's Baja California peninsula.
Marie will likely weaken to tropical storm levels, but life-threatening water conditions were expected to continue through Thursday.
Did you see that? The Chasing Mavericks star was dressed casually in a navy T-shirt, denim jeans and black sneakers with black aviator sunglasses
Gerard is familiar with terrifying surf conditions as he risked his own life in the ocean when he portrayed the character of Frosty Hesson in the film Chasing Mavericks.
He 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.
The Scot told Good Morning America back in 2012 that he had 'visceral' flashbacks during the accident and his mind ended up in a place where he 'didn't want it to be.'
'It was like a Tsunami coming in and I was down and I just didn't come back up really,' the actor recalled to GMA's Lara Spencer.
Life-threatening waves: Many thrill-seeking surfriders visited the Malibu beach to experience the large waves kicked up by Hurricane Marie in the Pacific Ocean about 800 miles west of the southern tip of Mexico's Baja California peninsula
'I was down for that wave and I was down for a long time just turning turning and then the next wave came over and I began to think 'Wow, I'm going to die making a movie.'
Chasing Mavericks tells the true story of teenager Jay Moriarty and his quest to surf America's most dangerous waves in Santa Cruz.
Gerard produced the film and starred in it, playing a local legend who took the teen under his wing and taught him to surf the waves.
Surfer role: Butler is familiar with terrifying surf conditions as he risked his own life in the ocean when portrayed the character of Frosty Hesson in the 2011 film Chasing Mavericks
'This film explained to me how hard it is to become a surfer, how dangerous it actually is, how exciting it is,' he added.
'It was a pretty close call,' the Scot revealed to UK talk show host Graham Norton in 2012.
He elaborated: 'Somebody described Mavericks the other day as liquid hell because the water is very dark and very heavy and there's just a lot of water there and it's a much deeper surf spot than most places so it takes you further down - you can go down 25 to 30 feet.'
Chasing Mavericks: Gerard starred in the film playing a local legend who took a teen, played by actor Jonny Weston, under his wing and taught him to surf the waves