Souleymane Sy Savane, Gerard Butler, Machine Gun Preacher

Phil Bray/Relativity Media

Is Gerard Butler OK?

"I was shot twice in the head," the actor told us at last night's premiere of his new movie, Machine Gun Preacher.

What the heck happened? Read on...

It all happened during the making Preacher, a real-life drama about Sam Childers (Butler), a real-life druggie jailbird who found God in 1992, founded a ministry in Pennsylvania and went to Africa and opened an orphanage in war-torn Sudan. It is, to say the least, an intense flick.

During one particularly violent nighttime scene, the bullets were flying.

"It was a shell, but it sounds better to get shot," Butler told us on the red carpet at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills. "The shell hit me, slit my head, it was pouring with blood. About twenty minutes later, we finally stopped the bleeding. We went again and another shell hit me! Within half an inch of the first one [and] slit my head again."

Costar Souleymane Sy Savane admitted it was shells from his own gun that stuck Butler. "It was kind of serious," he said. "It was a pretty intense scene. We were being attacked by a bunch of rebels at night. So I would say for my defense, I couldn't really see."

Butler says he also ripped a tendon in his leg while filming the same scene. "You do a movie like this and you get into a few accidents," he smiled.

Also at last night's premiere were costars Michelle Monaghan, Kathy Baker and Madeline Carroll, along with Childers, Zoe Saldana, and Jane Lynch's Emmy dress designer David Meister.

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