Stories

‘Elvis’ Biopic Star Austin Butler Shocked By Heartbreaking Connection They Share

ADVERTISEMENT

Any given role for the screen or stage takes an actor into the life and thoughts of someone else entirely. Methods for channeling this entirely new identity vary between actor and school of learning. But for Austin Butler, he found himself overwhelmed to learn there was something he could relate very well to with Elvis Presley.

Butler had to channel the King of Rock and Roll for the biopic Elvis, starring himself and Tom Hanks, and directed by Baz Luhrmann, whose credits include Australia, Moulin Rouge!, and The Great Gatsby. Butler, 30, personally conducted research on Presley’s life to perform as him and this revealed to him a tragic loss Presley suffered that Butler too experienced not long ago.

ADVERTISEMENT

Austin Butler researched extensively to play Elvis Presley

Austin Butler conducted extensive research to play Elvis Presley / Xavier Collin/Image Press Agency / ImageCollect

Portraying Presley, for Butler, meant putting research as his highest priority. “I basically put the rest of my life on pause for two years,” he admitted. “I just absorbed everything that I possibly could.” That meant covering his walls in posters, listening to his music, and learning about his life from top to bottom. This fixation opened Butler’s eyes to fine nuances in Presley’s performances. This is all in keeping with Luhrmann’s assessment of Butler, who likened the actor’s thoughtful persona to that of Presley. “Elvis was an intensely spiritual person. And I think Austin has a really spiritual quality to him,” Luhrmann feels. “He has a very sensitive and big inner life. He’s very lovely on the outside, but you know there’s deep thinking going on on the inside.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Elvis / YouTube screenshot

RELATED: Many Critics Praise Austin Butler For His Performance In ‘Elvis’ Despite The Movie’s Mixed Reviews

Indeed, Butler was engaged in some very deep research for his work. “I broke down his life into periods of time where I could hear the differences in how his voice changed over the years and how his movement changed over the years and I spent two years studying, trying to find his humanity as best as I could through that,” he explained. “The tricky thing is you see Elvis as this icon, or as the wallpaper of society and finding a way to strip all of that away and find the very human nature of him that was deeper than all of that, that’s what was fascinating for me.” That deeper human nature, in part unearthed through the Graceland archives, revealed a somber connection the two had.

Butler can relate to loss

Both actors lost their mother in their twenties / Everett Collection

Since beginning his work for the biopic, Butler has received support from Priscilla Presley and since footage of his performance aired, he was also the subject of high praise from both her and Lisa Marie Presley. Priscilla was there to walk with him through Graceland and offered him a hug. That alone was a touching moment that inspired some tears for Butler, but another emotional moment was on the way.

ELVIS, poster in Dutch and English, Austin Butler as Elvis Presley, 2022. © Warner Bros. /Courtesy Everett Collection

“His mother passed away when he was 23,” Butler noted, “and my mum passed away when I was 23. So when I learned that, it was one of those things where I got chills, and I just thought, Okay, I can connect to that.” Presley’s mother, Gladys, was just 46 when she died, and she had been very close with Presley. Butler’s own mother, Lori Anne (née Howell) worked as an aesthetician. She and Butler’s father David divorced when the actor was seven. Lori died in 2014 from cancer.

Show comments
Share
Published by

Recent Posts

Pamela Anderson Claims Jack Nicholson Had A Threesome At Playboy Mansion

January 31 marks the release of Love, Pamela, a memoir by Pamela Anderson. Ahead of…

4 hours ago

Get To Know Julian Sands And His Family

Julian Sands began his acting career in the early '80s and quickly established himself as…

6 hours ago

Michael Douglas Shares Incredible Throwback Photo Featuring Jack Nicholson

Michael Douglas shared a very cool throwback photo recently to celebrate his brother's birthday. The…

11 hours ago

Marie Osmond Wants This Disney Star To Play Her In Biopic About Her Life

Recently, Marie Osmond revealed information regarding her preference on who she considers a perfect actor…

16 hours ago

How Many Contestants Have Won The $1 Million Grand Prize On ‘Wheel Of Fortune’?

Wheel of Fortune aired for the first time in 1975 and has kept on entertaining viewers…

18 hours ago

Why ‘Animal House’ Director John Landis Did Not Want To Cast Chevy Chase

He's been a source of laughter from numerous iconic movies, from the National Lampoon's Vacation…

1 day ago