Austin Butler recently opened up about how he had to drink melted ice cream in order to gain weight for his role as Elvis Presley in the award-winning Elvis biopic. While Elvis in his early to mid-career was in generally good shape, Austin needed to gain weight in order to play the older version of Elvis.
His solution to gaining weight was to microwave Häagen-Dazs ice cream and drink it. “It’s fun for a week or so,” he says in an interview with Variety. “And then you feel awful with yourself.”
Austin Butler drank melted ice cream to gain weight for ‘Elvis’ biopic
He continues, “But we were planning on shooting chronologically in the beginning. That quickly went out the window, then especially with COVID. It was just impossible.”
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In the same interview, Austin revealed that he would buy two dozen doughnuts and eat them all. “I really started to pack on some pounds,” he shares.
Austin also reveals that actor Ryan Gosling was the inspiration behind the “drinking melted ice cream” method. Gosling had apparently used this same strategy while prepping for a Lovely Bones role he was originally cast for, but was later fired days before production began, due to a disagreement over the character’s appearance.
Austin says that while he went “down the rabbit hole of obsession” to fully embody the older Elvis, that he actually ended up just wearing a body suit for those scenes. “And 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.”