Actor Gerard Butler appeared on a British talk show over the weekend and described being trapped underwater while filming a movie at Mavericks in December.
The 42-year-old Scottish-born actor said on "The Graham Norton Show" that he was held underwater for nearly a minute while a set of up to 30-foot waves crashed down above him at the famed surf spot, located about half a mile off the coast near Half Moon Bay.
"This is one of the few times that reports maybe were not exaggerated," Butler said. "It was a pretty close call."
He said that just before he went under, "This wave spread across the sky ... I just dived in and it took me."
Butler said the wave ripped the leash that connected him to his board and he knew there was nothing to pull him back up to the surface.
"I'm thinking, 'I need to get up, I need to get up,' and then I felt the next wave go and the whole thing started over again," he said.
Butler was on location filming a scene for "Of Men and Mavericks" about renowned big-wave surfer Jay Moriarty, in which he plays Moriarty's mentor Rick "Frosty" Hesson, when the incident occurred on Dec. 18.
He was pulled from the surf, and emergency responders from the Coastside Fire Protection District were called to the scene. Butler was then transported Stanford Hospital for observation.
The actor was not seriously injured.
Crews have been shooting scenes for "Of Men and Mavericks" throughout San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties since October.
The movie is scheduled to be released in the fall.