1. He graduated from Glasgow University with a degree in law. One week before qualifying as a trainee lawyer, he was fired for being late and coming into work hungover. "It was the worst day of my life," he has said. "Yet it was the best thing that ever happened to me." He went into acting, a passion he'd had since he starred in a school production of Oliver, aged 12.
2. Gerard had to be rescued after a surfing accident while filming Chasing Mavericks. He had to pull off some challenging stunts for the role, but was rushed to hospital when one went wrong and he was caught under the water for about a minute.
He said the experience reminded him of when he saved a young boy who was drowning in the River Tay. He was awarded a certificate of bravery by the Royal Humane Society of Scotland in 1997. But he played down his heroism. "I didn't feel like a hero at all," he confessed. ''I was initially gripped by fear and an empty feeling, thinking that the boy was dead.''
3. He was incredibly moved when he read the script for the big-screen version of the epic musical The Phantom of the Opera for the first time. "I was wiping the tears off," he said. "It really touched me in an incredible way." Gerard didn't have a musical background but received training and sung every song.
4. He doesn't like the way Americans pronounce Gerard. "It drives me crazy," he said. He often insists that they call him Gerry. His friends deliberately pronounce his name incorrectly to wind him up.
5. His best chat- up line is, "Have you seen 300?"