THEN AND NOW: The cast of '300,' 16 years later

Gerard Butler in "300"
Gerard Butler in "300."Warner Bros. Pictures
  • "300" was released in US theaters on March 9, 2007.

  • The action film starred Gerard Butler, Lena Headey, David Wenham, and Dominic West.

  • Since its release, the cast has gone on to star in other notable movies and TV shows.

Gerard Butler starred as the movie's protagonist, King Leonidas.

Gerard Butler in "300"
Gerard Butler in "300."Warner Bros. Pictures

Without the council's consent, and against the instructions of Sparta's mystical priests, King Leonidas leads 300 soldiers into battle against King Xerxes and his massive Persian army.

While Leonidas and his soldiers successfully fend off several waves of Persian soldiers, they are eventually defeated, succumbing to a wave of arrows.


Butler has kept busy with a slew of films, including "The Ugly Truth" and "Plane."

Gerard Butler in a dark suit
Gerard Butler.Jamie McCarthy/Getty

Since "300," Butler has appeared in (or voiced characters for) more than 30 movies, including "P.S. I Love You," "Greenland," and "How to Train Your Dragon."

The actor also starred in a trilogy of films — "Olympus Has Fallen," "London Has Fallen," and "Angel Has Fallen" — as Mike Banning, a highly-skilled former Army Ranger-turned-Secret Service agent.

Butler has at least nine projects in the works, including the film sequel "Greenland: Migration," costarring Morena Baccarin, and the action thriller "Kandahar."

Lena Headey portrayed Queen Gorgo, who tries to rally support for King Leonidas.

Lena Headey in "300"
Lena Headey in "300."Warner Bros. Pictures

After King Leonidas leaves for battle, Queen Gorgo attempts to convince councilman Theron to help her win enough votes from the council to send the Spartan army to support her husband's war efforts against the Persian empire.

The queen stabs Theron in front of the council after he falsely accuses her of trying to seduce him and another council member.

Headey has appeared in several high-profile TV projects, including "Game of Thrones."

Lena Headey in a dress
Lean Headey.Dan MacMedan/WireImage/Getty

While Headey has kept busy with film and TV work since "300," her most notable roles include playing Sarah Connor in the TV series "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" and HBO's smash hit "Game of Thrones" as Cersei Lannister.

Headey has at least six projects currently in the works, including the film "Crooks," costarring Juno Temple, and the superhero TV show "New-Gen."

David Wenham played Dilios, an injured Spartan soldier.

David Wenham in "300"
David Wenham in "300."Warner Bros. Pictures

Dilios is the film's narrator and a member of King Leonidas' 300 soldiers who go to battle with the Persian army.

Once Leonidas realizes defeat is inevitable, he sends Dilios back to Sparta to deliver an unspoken message to Queen Gorgo and tell citizens about their valiant fight.

In the film's grand finale, Dilios leads the Spartan army, as well as 30,000 free Greek soliders, against the Persians in a battle where they are outnumbered three to one.

Wenham has steadily worked on film and TV projects, including "Australia."

David Wenham
David Wenham at a tribute for Robert Redford in December 2019.Stephane Cardinale - Corbis / Getty contributor

Since "300," Wenham has appeared in projects like Baz Luhrmann's 2008 film "Australia," the Netflix series "Iron Fist," and "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales."

His most recent project was the 2022 animated film "Mortal Kombat Legends: Snow Blind," in which he played the iconic video-game character Kano.

Dominic West portrayed Theron, a cunning councilman.

Dominic West in "300"
Dominic West in "300."Warner Bros. Pictures

Theron is a councilman who vies for the throne.

He sleeps with Queen Gorgo, promising her that by doing so, he will rally the necessary votes from the council to send the rest of the Spartan army to support Leonidas.

After betraying the queen in front of the council, the queen stabs and kills him.

West has appeared in several notable films, but struck gold with a role on "The Wire."

Dominic West attends "The Crown" season five premiere.
Dominic West attends "The Crown" season five premiere.Mike Marsland/Getty Images

Although West took on roles in movies like "Hannibal Rising" (2007) and "Tomb Raider" (2018), the actor has found more success on the small screen.

In the critically acclaimed TV series "The Wire," West starred as Det. Jimmy McNulty for five seasons.

He starred nearly six years later in "The Affair" for another five seasons as Noah Solloway, a novelist who has an affair with a woman that must deal with the long-term consequences.

West recently starred as Prince Charles in season 5 of "The Crown" and portrayed Dr. Chris Cox in the series "Brassic."

Michael Fassbender played Stelios, a loyal Spartan soldier.

Michael Fassbender in "300"
Michael Fassbender in "300"Warner Bros. Pictures

Stelios is a member of King Leonidas' 300 soldiers who cuts off the arm of a Persian messenger early on.

He plays a pivotal role in Leonidas' final battle against the Persians before perishing.

Fassbender has appeared in several noteworthy movies, which have earned him several Golden Globe and Oscar nods.

Michael Fassbender in 2022
Michael Fassbender at a screening of "Holy Spider" at the 75th annual Cannes film festival in May 2022.Gisela Schober / Getty Contributor

Fassbender's career has taken off since "300." He starred as Steve Jobs in the critically acclaimed 2015 biopic "Steve Jobs," played the iconic comic-book character Magneto in four X-Men films, and appeared in two movies in the "Alien" franchise: "Prometheus" and "Alien: Covenant."

His turn in "Steve Jobs" earned him Golden Globe and Oscar nods for best actor. Fassbender also received Golden Globe and Oscar nominations for his supporting role in the 2013 film "12 Years a Slave."

The actor has at least three projects in development, including "The Killer," costarring Tilda Swinton, and "Next Goal Wins," with Elizabeth Moss and Will Arnett.

Rodrigo Santoro portrayed Xerxes, king of Persia.

Rodrigo Santoro in "300"
Rodrigo Santoro in "300."Warner Bros. Pictures

After King Xerxes' offer to join the Persian empire is rebuffed by Leonidas, the Persian king threatens to destroy Sparta.

He grows increasingly angry as Leonidas and his soldiers fend off wave after wave of Persian fighters.

Xerxes offers the hunchback Ephialtes women and wealth in exchange for invaluable information about a secret path that will, strategically, help lead to the defeat of Leonidas and his soldiers.

Santoro has juggled domestic and international TV and film projects.

Rodrigo Santoro in February 2023
Rodrigo Santoro at a screening of "Wolf Pack" in February 2023.Jason Kempin / Getty Staff

Santoro, who reprised the role of Xerxes in the sequel "300: Rise of an Empire," has juggled TV and movie projects in the years since.

In 2006, he joined the popular series "Lost" during its third season.

With the personal blessing of Pope Francis, Santoro played Jesus in the 2016 film "Ben-Hur" before appearing in the critically acclaimed show "Westworld."

The actor currently appears in the fantasy series "Wolf Pack," alongside Sarah Michelle Gellar, as park ranger Garrett Briggs.

Vincent Regan played the captain of the Spartan army.

Vincent Regan in "300"
Vincent Regan in "300."Warner Bros. Pictures

A friend of King Leonidas, the captain rallies 300 Spartan soldiers to fight the Persian army.

After his son Astinos is killed in battle with the Persians, the captain breaks rank and kills several Persian soldiers.

He is stabbed with a spear and killed in King Leonidas' final battle with the Persian army.

Regan has appeared in numerous TV shows, as well as films like "Snow White and the Huntsman."

Vincent Regan and guest at the London premiere of "300"
Vincent Regan and a guest at the London premiere of "300."Jorge Herrera / Getty Contributor

Regan has appeared in a slew of TV shows since "300," from "Poirot" and "The Royals," to "The Bay."

He most recently appeared in "Luther: The Fallen Sun," starring Idris Elba and Cynthia Erivo.

The actor has three projects currently in the works, including "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom," with Jason Momoa.

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