Playing an icon like Elvis Presley is not easy. And if not tell Austin Butler. The actor from Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood and The Shannara Chronicles get into the skin of the king of ‘rock and roll’ in Elvis, the ‘biopic’ directed by Baz Luhrmann and which has already hit theaters. The experience of bringing the singer to life was intense for him. “He never stopped working. At one point I had to tell him: ‘Austin, you can’t do this to yourself every day and night because you’re going to break’. I think he worked as if his life depended on it,” says the director of Moulin Rouge.
Austin Butler spent years learning to sing, move, dance, and gesticulate like Elvis, and when it was all over, the actor experienced something of baptism on the film’s last day of shooting that left him shivering and full of water. “It was an emotional day,” Butler recalls.
As the actor continues:
The last thing I shot was… There’s this montage in the ’60s, where they throw water at me and leave it to the last minute. That was the last thing I shot. So I ended up shivering and covered in water. I felt it was appropriate, like it was a baptism at the end of the movie
But it does not end there. Luhrmann and Catherine Martin, the film’s producer, and costume designer, presented her with a gift that she connected with one of Butler’s first contacts with the project. ” They gave me a frame with the back of the monkey from ‘Unchained Melody’ inside. I have it on my wall at home. And it’s kind of full circle because in the first video I sent Baz I’m singing. that song. It was cool,” explains the actor.
A DREAM AND AN ‘UNCHAINED MELODY’
The truth is that this video in which Austin Butler appears singing one of Elvis’s most famous songs has a sad story behind it. The actor and the king of ‘rock and roll’ lost his mother at the same age, at 23, and one night Austin Butler had a nightmare, he played ‘Unchained Melody’ on the piano. The interpreter recorded it and sent it to Luhrmann.
“I thought I wasn’t going to make it because the more I learned about Elvis, the more I realized how spiritual, sensitive, kind, and extraordinary he was,” says Luhrmann about his fear of not finding the perfect person to bring the icon to life. musical.
“And then Austin Butler found me because he’s all of those things. He’s been talking for the first time about something that I’ve known for a long time, which is that he lost his mother at the same age as Elvis. And it led to this thing .” extraordinary to play the piano one night when he had a nightmare about his mother, and he made a video and his representative made him send it. And that’s how it ended up in the movie, “he concludes.
Elvis tells the story of the rise and fall of the king of ‘rock and roll’ and also the evolution of the United States during the 50s, 60s, and 70s. In addition to Austin Butler, the film features Tom Hanks and Olivia DeJonge in its cast. Along these lines, do not miss our interview with the protagonists and the director.