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Austin Butler’s ‘Elvis’ Role & the Two Years He Took to Prepare

Titi Dokubo
Jun 09, 2022
05:20 P.M.
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Austin Butler is set to star as the Rock and Roll legend Elvis Presley in the 2022 Baz Luhrmann's biopic "Elvis." The actor decided to surrender himself to the character for the role, and his preparations took two years.


On June 6, 2022, Australian director Baz Luhrmann appeared on Fitzy and Wippa's podcast and discussed his casting decision for "Elvis." He talked about his decision to pass over "Watermelon Sugar" singer Harry Styles for the role of Elvis.

The director also spoke about other hopefuls like "The Divergent Series" stars Ansel Elgort and Miles Teller and his reason for going with Austin Butler. Baz Luhrmann also revealed that he does not hold auditions but does rich workshops.

Austin Butler at the Australian premiere of "Elvis" on June 04, 2022 | Source: Getty Images


In the podcast, Luhrmann said he had nothing against Styles and that the singer is a talented actor, but he could not cast him for the role. Luhrmann said:

"...the real issue with Harry is, he's Harry Styles. He's already an icon."

The director further revealed that Styles only wanted to explore. In an interview with Howard Stern, Styles said he felt that he should audition for the role because while growing up, Elvis was probably the first person he knew outside of his family.



After industry insiders watched the Warner Bros. "Elvis" biopic, some of them began to compare Butler with the early career of Brad Pitt. After the screening, Elvis's daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, said:

"If Austin Butler doesn't win an Academy Award, I'm going to eat my foot."

Lisa's comments were deserving because Butler took his role for the movie so seriously that he was sick when they wrapped up filming. Butler revealed that he woke up at 4 a.m. with excruciating pain the next day after the filming, and they had to rush him to the hospital.


The actor was bedridden for a week after being diagnosed with a type of virus simulating appendicitis. However, Butler, who wants everybody to love the film, said the pressure he has felt is doing justice to Elvis. Butler said:

"I basically put the rest of my life on pause for two years, and I just absorbed everything that I possibly could."

During the two years, he said he was obsessed with his character and learned more about the iconic "Can't Help Falling In Love" singer. Butler had to break down Elvis's life into periods to hear the differences in his voice and see the changes in his movement.

Kaia Gerber and Austin Butler at The 2022 Met Gala on May 2, 2022 | Source: Getty Images



Rumors of Butler dating Kaia Gerber started in December 2021 after they attended yoga classes together. In February 2022, Gerber and Butler took a romantic trip to Paris, where they spent Valentine's Day together.

In March 2022, they left W Magazine's pre-Oscars party together even though they did not walk the red carpet together. They posed together at the Met Gala in May 2022, making their relationship official.

When they attended the premiere of "Elvis" at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival in May, Gerber and Butler shared a smooch for the cameras.