Taking on the role of one of the world’s greatest music legends ever is no small feat.
So when Austin Butler prepared to star as Elvis in the biopic of the same name, it’s reasonable to assume that he was quite nervous… or in his words, “filled with fear”. Especially if you throw in a lot of great musical numbers!
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“I was nervous and afraid of the large numbers with tons of extras, to go out and perform in front of a lot of people,” admits Butler behind the scenes film material from elvis.
To get a little more comfort before taking on the part, Butler reached out to a fellow actor Rami Malekwho won an Oscar in 2019 for his portrayal of Freddy Mercury Bohemian Rhapsody.
So what was the advice Malek had for our homegrown Elvis?
“He said, ‘You know what? Those days are probably going to be your favorite days,’” recalls Butler.
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“He couldn’t be more right about that…,” Butler continued. “I was terrified every time before I went out… But Elvis said it too. Those first few songs, once you’ve done them and you realize ‘OK, nobody’s going to throw a rock at me, it’s all okay .’”
Butler added that he eventually became super comfortable in the role once he felt the connection with his “audience.” “There were days when I didn’t want the day to be over!”
It sounds like Malek’s advice paid off. In the same clip, Butler’s co-star Tom Hanks talks enthusiastically about the actor’s portrayal of Elvis.
“When he got on stage, he was exciting!” says Hank. “I think he had to do it thirty times, with everything that happened, and you couldn’t take your eyes off him every time.”
The film, which was shot on the Gold Coast, stars Hanks as Elvis’ longtime manager, Colonel Tom Parker.
Butler added that the hair and makeup team definitely helped him feel more like the rock star. “It helps a lot, if you look in the mirror and you start to see the transformation,” he exults. “It makes you feel different. It really does.”
In fact, Butler immersed himself so deeply in the role that it affected his health.
Last month, Butler told: GQ magazine he was diagnosed with a virus that has been hospitalized him the day after he wrapped up the production of Baz Luhrmann’s music biopic. The virus simulated appendicitis and left Butler bedridden for a week: “My body started working the day after I finished Elvis†
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