Just as the success of the movie Elvis continues to follow the star actor, Austin Butler, his voice imitation of the American singer seems to have stuck with him even after almost a year since the movie was released. Wakanda Queen actor, Angela Bassett, has some words to say regarding Mr. Butler's difficulty in shaking off the character.
Angela Bassett Explains Why Austin Butler Still Talks Like Elvis
Bassett Relates It To Her Previous Role as Tina Turner
In an interview with The New Yorker, Angela Bassett shares some advice for the younger actor Austin. She relates his situation with hers in 1993 when she played the role of Tina Turner in the movie What's Love Got to Do With It. When asked in the same interview, the 64-year-old actor said Tina's character continued to follow her post-production and release of the movie.
Who is Tina Turner?
Tina Turner is an American-born but naturalized Swiss singer and dancer widely regarded as the "Queen of Rock 'n' Roll." She wasn't always a solo performer. She became famous as a lead singer in the Ike & Tina Turner Revenue. Her successful career as a singer and dancer landed her a personal biographical film in 1993.
Angela Bassett Sheds Light On Her Struggles With The Role of Tina
Understanding the battle Austin Butler might be fighting with the Elvis character in him, Bassett confesses that she had a hard time detaching herself from the Tina Turner persona — even the iconic "Tina's laugh."
Aside from the 20 hours per day filming toll the 1993 movie took on the Wakanda Queen, Angela stated, "It took over, not as long as Elvis — maybe about four months after. You so lived and breathed and began to see life through their perspective. You had to. They're a part of you. I think that's what's going on with him".
How She Got Over The Tina's Influence
Continuing her take on the Austin accent situation, she stated that she eventually had to tell herself to let go of the character and remind herself of who she is. Her advice on overcoming the "Elvis" persona to Austin, she said, "You have to bid it farewell, and it's hard to let it go because you've enjoyed it, you survived it, you delivered, and you're proud of that."
Angela Can Still Do The Tina Turner Laugh
The interview wasn't even over, and the Academy Award nominee resurrected her 30-year-old Tina's laugh. Letting out a high and squeaky similar laugh from her 1993 biopic film.
She Commends Austin's Performance As Elvis
As an actor in biopic films herself, she indirectly praises Austin for his role in Elvis. In her advice to Austin Butler on how to let go of the character persona, she ended her statement by saying, "So it takes a moment to get back to regular you. But you're different after this moment. Now you're Austin, who did that great performance." And just like everyone else who saw the movie, Mr. Butler nailed the part!
Austin Connected Deeply With Elvis Losing His Mom
Like Elvis Presley losing his mom at a young age, Austin Butler has said that he felt the pain of the music legend after finding out they both lost their moms at 23. Butler claims his mother gave up her career in support of his, as they were very close.
So, during his audition for the role, instead of performing one of the great Elvis classics, he sang Unchained Melody, which the actor stated was in honor of his mom.
It Helped Him Win The Role Of Elvis
Elvis movie director Luhrmann stated, "What I heard vocally, and more importantly, what I saw emotionally, was something that simply couldn't be ignored." According to the director, he had considered bigger Hollywood stars for the role, but after watching Austin's audition, Mr. Butler definitely won his heart.
Director Luhrmann Calls Austin The Perfect Cast for The Role
With Elvis racking up tremendous award nominations, the Moulin Rouge! Director, Luhrmann, had this to say about Austin Butler, "he was carrying something of Elvis with him," and that Butler had "a hint of the swagger" mixed with "a touch of the sound" for the character. Making him the perfect cast for the role compared to other considerations.
"Elvis" Went On To Become A Success For Warner Bros
Premiering at the Cannes Film Festival in 2022, Elvis turned out to be a massive success for the Warner Bros company for the summer. Earning over $280 million at the worldwide box office, surpassing Baz Luhrmann's last successful movie, "The Great Gatsby," by $150 million at the domestic box office.
Mr. Butler Grabs Award Nominations and Wins For Elvis
Receiving his first-ever Oscar nomination of his career for Elvis as Best Actor, the 31-year-old actor thanked Vanessa Hudgens for setting him up for the film. For his excellent portrayal of Elvis Presley, Austin Butler also got nominated for a BAFTA award and won a Golden Globe.
Fans Also Found His Performance Great
Many Austin Butler fans from Once Upon A Time in Hollywood have also shown great support for the actor. Even highlighting his unchanged voice one year after the movie.
How He Perfected Himself for Elvis
After winning the part and captivating Luhrmann, Austin didn't slow down on keeping his impression top-notch. The Oscar-nominated actor made a playlist of Elvis songs and continued listening to them throughout the entire production. For a further challenge, he picked his 50 favorite songs from the singer, learning and mastering the icons act.
"Awful" Eating Habits He Mastered
In an interview with Variety, Austin Butler stated he had to go through eating habits he wasn't proud of. Stating he got diet ideas from star actor Ryan Gosling to gain weight. In his statement, he said, "I heard that Ryan Gosling when he was going to do 'The Lovely Bones,' had microwaved Häagen-Dazs and would drink it." The actor added, "So I started doing that. I would go get two dozen doughnuts and eat them all. I really started to pack on some pounds. It's fun for a week, and then you feel awful about yourself."
Austin Still Gets Tears Seeing Elvis Presley Performance
Butler states that one of Elvis Presley's performances he watched on YouTube still makes him cry every time he sees the singer's smile. The twinkle in the eyes of the iconic singer reminds him of his past years while alive, capturing the hearts of the world.
Angela Bassett Also Comments On Anthony Hopkins Marvel's Criticism
The Odin actor in Thor, Anthony Hopkins, dropped some negative statements about acting in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In his words, "They put me in armor; they shoved a beard on me. Sit on the throne; shout a bit. If you're sitting in front of a green screen, it's pointless acting it." In his script for Thor, he wrote "No acting required."
Angela Bassett shared sympathies for her Marvel co-star, noting her experience was much different from his. She said, "The throne room was there, the floor of red clay, the elevation with the Dora Milaje flanking around, the grand doors that they walk through," — highlighting the use of physical sets rather than green screens.
Bassett Becoming The First MCU Oscar Nominee
Reprising her role as Mother to King T'Challa and Queen to Wakanda in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Angela Bassett gets an Oscar nomination for Best Support Actress at the Oscars. Her award nomination earned her the title of being the first actor in the entire MCU to receive such.
She Shared Her Nomination On Social Media
The Queen quickly shared her nomination with her friends and fans on Instagram. In her caption, she wrote, "This morning is a little extra special in the Bassett Vance household with news of my Oscar nomination." She further added, "Congratulations to my fellow Wakanda Forever nominees - Ryan Coogler, Ruth E. Carter, Camille Friend, Joel Harlow, Rihanna, Tems, Ludwig Göransson, Geoffrey Baumann, Craig Hammack, R. Christopher White and Dan Sudick"
Angela Bassett's Time In The MCU Might Not Be Over
Although the Queen of Wakanda might be dead, it might not exactly be the end of the road for Angela Bassett. With the MCU in a multiversal saga/phase, anything is possible. In a statement, she said, "That's what Ryan said to me!" responding to this statement from the interviewer, "I was surprised, I must say, that we saw the death, we think, of Queen [Ramonda]. But I know this is a Marvel movie. And I know the end isn't always the end."