“You may lose contact with who you really are. And I undoubtedly had that once I completed Elvis — not figuring out who I used to be.”
Baz Luhrmann’s epic biopic concerning the life and profession of Elvis Presley has actually been a very long time coming.
Filming for Elvis was initially slated to start in Lurhmann’s dwelling nation of Australia in March 2020, however simply days earlier than the shoot began one in every of its stars, Tom Hanks, was hospitalized with COVID-19.
Because the severity of the pandemic turned clear, manufacturing was shut down indefinitely. However Austin Butler — who has taken on the film’s titular position — declined the invitation to be flown again to his dwelling in Los Angeles.
As an alternative, he determined to stay in Australia and use lockdown as a chance to totally immerse himself in all issues Elvis. In line with British GQ, the actor turned his house into what was successfully a “detective scene” as he dug as deeply as attainable into the real-life character that he was portraying.
“Simply pictures of Elvis all over the place, from each time interval,” Austin instructed the publication. “I believe the movie would have been very totally different if we had began capturing at that time, and I’m grateful I had the time to let myself marinate.”
Filming lastly started six months later, and in that point Austin had realized every thing that there’s to find out about Elvis having devoted himself to listening solely to the star’s music and studying solely about his life.
Austin additionally discovered himself connecting to the music legend on a deeper and extra private stage when he realized that each he and Elvis had misplaced their moms after they have been 23 years outdated.
In reality, Austin was so dedicated to embodying Elvis that Luhrmann was generally unable to distinguish between when he was in character and when he was being himself.
“I requested one in every of my assistants [about Butler’s accent], and the man mentioned, ‘Nicely, he’s not Southern. He’s from Anaheim [California],’ ” Luhrmann instructed GQ. “I don’t suppose, till not too long ago, I really got here to know how Austin really sounded.”
And Austin admitted that he was so devoted to doing the position justice that he finally ended up shedding contact along with his personal id.
“You may lose contact with who you really are. And I undoubtedly had that once I completed Elvis – not figuring out who I used to be,” he defined.
However the affect of giving a lot of himself to the position for such a protracted time frame ended up having severe penalties, and the day after the challenge wrapped in March 2021, Austin was rushed to the hospital as his physique started “shutting down.”
“The subsequent day I awoke at 4 within the morning with excruciating ache, and I used to be rushed to hospital,” he shared. “My physique simply began shutting down the day after I completed Elvis.”
Austin ended up being bedridden for per week after he was identified with a virus that simulates appendicitis. Regardless of the well being scare, Austin didn’t waste any time on taking it straightforward, and as an alternative flew to London as quickly as he recovered to begin work on his subsequent challenge, Masters of the Air, which included being put by means of a mock navy boot camp.
In a mirrored image of the extremely brief turnaround between the 2 shoots, Austin confessed that he nonetheless felt like he was channeling Elvis after he landed in London, even in his new position as a World Struggle II Military main.
In reality, his director, Cary Fukunaga, mentioned that he was conscious that Austin was “nonetheless very a lot Elvis” when he arrived for filming.
“I used to be like, ‘That is what Elvis felt when he was put into the Military,’” Austin mentioned. “You recognize, performing, and the glamour of it and listening to screaming followers, after which all of the sudden you’re simply dressed like all people else in these fatigues.”
Whereas he might have struggled to shake off the King of Rock & Roll, Austin’s dedication to his craft and impeccable work ethic are actually what landed him the position within the first place after he impressed Denzel Washington after they labored collectively on a 2018 Broadway manufacturing.
Austin recalled memorizing your entire script for the play’s first ever desk learn, and the way he would arrive on the theater earlier than Denzel for each single efficiency — two issues that impressed his costar.
The Hollywood legend ended up taking Austin underneath his wing, with Austin calling Denzel his virtually “performing coach” and “perhaps even a life coach.” It ended up being Denzel who personally drew Luhrmann’s consideration to Austin when he was in search of his Elvis.
“I get a telephone name out of the blue from Denzel Washington, who I didn’t know. Denzel Washington simply mentioned, in essentially the most extremely emotional and direct means, ‘Look, I’ve simply been on stage with this younger actor. I’m telling you, his work ethic is in contrast to something I’ve ever seen. I’ve by no means seen anybody who devotes each single second of their lives to perfecting a task,’” the director instructed GQ.
And when he watched Austin’s very first audition tape, which noticed him singing “Unchained Melody” in only a gown, Luhrmann admitted that he wasn’t positive if the younger star was “having a breakdown” or auditioning for the half.
The remaining, as they are saying, is historical past, and Austin’s onerous work seems to have paid off amid experiences that Elvis acquired a 12-minute standing ovation following its premiere at Cannes Movie Pageant on Wednesday.
It has additionally had the seal of approval from Elvis’s ex-wife, Priscilla Presley, and daughter, Lisa Marie Presley.
Lisa Marie mentioned earlier this month: “You may really feel and witness Baz’s pure love, care, and respect for my father all through this lovely movie. And it’s lastly one thing that myself and my youngsters and their youngsters may be pleased with without end.”
She even referred to as for Austin to be awarded an Oscar for his efficiency as her father, which she mentioned was “FINALLY executed precisely and respectfully.”
Elvis might be theatrically launched worldwide on June 24.