Austin Butler Opens Up About His Time On 'Elvis'

Chukwudi Onyewuchi
'Elvis' Actor Austin Butler
Shutterstock | 242987224

Undoubtedly, Austin Butler is one of the most promising actors in the entertainment industry. He began his career on television with roles on Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. However, many years after foraying into the movie industry, the star now has acting credits in some of the most iconic movies, one of which is Elvis. Directed by Baz Luhrmann, the film hit the screens in Australia in June 2022.

As soon as the movie debuted in the cinemas, Austin received widespread acclaim from fans and critics for his excellent portrayal of Elvis Presley in the biopic. Not only did he perform all of Elvis's songs brilliantly, but the movie star also captured the icon's spirit. Many months after the movie premiered, Austin opened up about the acting process and what he did to ensure that he portrayed Elvis Presley perfectly. Here are the details.

Austin Didn't See His Family For Years

Recently, Austin sat down with singer and actress Janelle Monáe to discuss working on Elvis for Variety's Actors on Actors series. During the chat, the actor revealed that playing the King of Rock 'n Roll meant neglecting his personal life. Austin said he didn't see his family for three years while filming. He told the Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery star:

"During Elvis, I didn't see my family for about three years. I was prepping with Baz, and when I went to Australia. I had months where I wouldn't talk to anybody. And when I did, the only thing I was ever thinking about was Elvis. I was speaking in his voice the whole time."

Austin Talks About Baz's Personality

Movie Director Baz Luhrmann
Flickr | Merja S

Baz Luhrmann is one of the greatest movie directors worldwide, and for Austin, it was a delight to work with the icon. During the chat with Janelle, the actor threw more light on the type of person Baz was. According to Austin, Baz was the closest thing to a jazz musician he had seen in a director. 

The actor also described Baz as doing so much homework, noting that the director was unpredictable. For example, Austin said Baz could show up one day with a rewritten scene that someone had worked on for over a year. It was terrifying initially for Austin, but he eventually got used to it.

Austin Had No Previous Singing Knowledge 

To Janelle's surprise, Austin made it known that he never sang in the past because he was timid and only had a musical background in playing the piano and guitar. According to him, his amazing singing performance in the biopic was all thanks to voice coaches. On his part, Austin said he did his best in studying Elvis's voice mannerisms.

The Challenges Of Filming 'Elvis'

Austin mentioned that during the filming process, one of his greatest challenges was playing Elvis when he was a teenager all the way up to his passing. The actor said it was challenging because they were shooting out of sequence. So at some point, they began searching for ways that the Elvis character could age. But everything worked out well in the end, and the biopic was a hit.