Austin Butler is the latest actor to take on the challenge of playing Elvis Presley. The Californian, who will turn 32 in August, is the protagonist, along with Tom Hanks, of the new film by Baz Luhrmann. Before starring in king of rock biopicButler began his career in youth series and in 2019 he was part of the cast of “Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood”.
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“I basically put the rest of my life on hold for two years and just took in as much as I could,” Butler told a Cannes Film Festival news conference about preparing for Presley’s performance. The actor became obsessed with scrutinizing the character’s edges, dividing his life into periods of time and checking how his voice and movement changed. “And I spent two years studying, trying to find his humanity as best I could through that.”
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Butler was born in Anaheim, California on August 17, 1991; His mother, Lori Anne, who ran a home daycare center and died in 2014, and his father, David, a commercial real estate appraiser, divorced when the actor was seven years old, according to Vogue. According to his IMDb bio, Butler has always enjoyed movies of all kinds. “James Dean was the actor I was obsessed with growing up,” he told Vogue, “I’ve seen ‘Rebel Without a Cause’ so many times.”
Butler’s career began when his stepbrother turned heads at an Orange County fair. The actor accompanied him to an audition, in which he got a spot. “I really had no passion for anything involving other people at the time,” he told the UK’s GQ. “I didn’t do sports. He didn’t do things with other kids.” However, he picks up the magazine, when he realized that it really I might enjoy the performancehe looked for a teacher and gradually began to get more roles.
Acting gained more ground in his life and aspirations, and he dropped out of school, with the support of his parents, to pursue a career in front of the cameras. She began her journey in youth series from Disney, Nickelodeon and CW. He appeared in “Hannah Montana”, in “Ned’s School Survival Guide”, “iCarly” or “Zoey 101” and “The Carrie Diaries”, among others.
“I was kind of embarrassed about some of the things I had to do, but I just had to get into it,” Butler told Vogue. “So I decided treat each of those jobs as a way to grow”. To GQ, the actor told that he wanted to do roles like “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” or “The Basketball Diaries”. “I was watching ‘Raging Bull’ and those kinds of movies and I was like, ‘I don’t want to be just a guy walking through a door in slow motion.’
In the cinema he has been part of the cast of titles such as “The Dead Don’t Die”, “The Intruders” or “Yoga Horses”. In 2019, he played Tex Watson in “Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood”, by Quentin Tarantino. “We were there, eating Nutella pancakes and Quentin is like, ‘How cool is this?'” she recalled. Butler to GQ about an anecdote with the director. “I was reminded of my 12-year-old self, being there with Quentin eating a pancake at three in the morning on set. And he says, ‘Do you know what my goal is? My goal is to make everyone on this set have such a good time that his next job sucks.’”
SOMETHING OF ELVIS INSIDE HIM
Later came the opportunity to play Elvis by the hand of the Australian director Baz Luhrmannwho had been considering other options like Miles Teller or Harry Styles before the Butler tape came into his hand. “From the moment I met Austin, he carried something of Elvis with him. It had a touch of swagger, a touch of sound,” the director told Vogue.
Already with Butler in the project, filming was put on hold in March 2020, with the arrival of covid-19. The actor he took advantage of the delay of a few months in the start of filming to delve deeper into the role. “I think the movie would have been very different if we had started filming at that point. And I am grateful that I had time to marinate,” he told GQ. His courtship with the model Kaia Gerber, daughter of Cindy Crawford, has been one of the most talked about at the recent Cannes Film Festival.
*With information from EFE.