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Let go of Austin Butler, King and Priscilla Presley's advice on the horror of playing Elvis

'I was very fascinated by this idea: who is Elvis Presley when he is alone in his room at the end of the night? 'The star of Baz Luhrmann's biography is

Elvis star Austin Butler seen during an appearance at the Cannes Film Festival in France, Wednesday, May 25, 2022.
Elvis star Austin Butler will perform at the Cannes Film Festival in France on Wednesday, May 25, 2022.Photo: Joel C Ryan

One of the biggest rock and roll icons after playing for two years,ElvisStar Austin Butler is learning how to relax.

To date, Orange County, California was probably best known for playing Tex Watson in Quentin Tarantino'sOnce Upon A Time ... Hollywood. If you're the parent of Tween, you might notice him from theShannara ChronicleandCarry Diary

, butElvisAppeared in the theater. The dynamic Baz Luhrmann film revives one of the most timeless figures in the history of music and tells the king's complete life story. In addition, Elvis Presley's acclaimed role has pushed Butler, 30, to the greatest stage of his life.

He admits that the process of letting go was not an easy one.

"When I was playing that role, it was this combination of really exhilaration and almost devastating horror," Butler said in an interview at a hotel in downtown Toronto. "Sometimes I felt like walking on a tightrope in the Grand Canyon."

Butler was Harry Styles, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, etc. The actor, who has defeated the famous name of the, but still speaks with a slight draw reminiscent of Presley, says he was completely absorbed in that part in two years.

Elviswas co-authored by Rahman (The Great Gatsby,Moulin Rouge.) and his eyes on Presley's life story. Talking through. Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks) helped turn him into a global superstar, but until the death of the singer at the age of 42 in 1977, his success was for his personal benefit. I worked behind the scenes to take advantage of it.

Parker tells a story and gives insight into the world of show business during Elvis' reign.

Tom Hanks as Colonel Tom Parker and Austin Butler as Elvis in Warner Bros. Pictures’ Elvis.
Tom Hanks is Colonel Tom Parker, Austin Butler is Elvis As Warner Brothers. Elvis in the photo. Photo: Warner Bros.

"Elvis has made many good and many bad decisions," Butler gently says. "He was as complex as many humans, but was magnified by the fact that no one had ever experienced such fame."

To play Presley, Butler watched hours of footage of the deceased singer so that he could copy his dance moves and imitate his singing style. But most of the time he did it right with Elvis' wife Priscilla (played by Olivia Dejon in the movie), his daughter Lisa Marie, his grandson, and "and all the people in the world who love him." I wanted to.

Austin Butler attends a recent screening of Elvis in Toronto.
Austin Butler attends Elvis' recent screening in Toronto To do. Photo: Warner Bros.

"Immediately after getting the part, Buzz and I went to Nashville to record at Elvis' old studio, RCA. I was treated with children's gloves and intend to singBlue Suede ShoesorHeartbreak HotelorHound Dog {104 and record one line at a time. I did.} ", Butler explains.

"Instead, on the first day, Buzz said," Take everyone out of the RCA office, sit in a chair facing Austin, and give them him while he sings. Let me hug you. "Imagine a nightmare," Butler laughs.

"I was very scared, but such moments help you get used to that fear: fear of humiliation, fear of failure, and with him. It can disappoint his family, but the pressure boosts you. "

Sitting to talk about it in a hotel suite overlooking University Avenue, he said," It's a cure for me. "

"I'm glad I can finally talk about it," Butler laughs.

Elvis has a bigger personality than the real thing. How does he connect with such things as an actor?

"He was much bigger than life, so at first I felt far away. So I started to absorb everything. I read all the books about his life. I felt like a detective had to find the truth, but what I found was that he had a deep sensibility and spirituality. He had a deep sensibility and spirituality in his head. I was doing a lot of things and it was a human thing that I could connect with. When I started using it, he felt like he was getting closer and closer and he started to get this clear picture. Then I started to feel like I was looking from his eyes, and that was a great moment for me because I didn't have to think at that point. "

Austin Butler as Elvis Presley.
Austin Butler as Elvis Presley. Photo: Warner Bros.

Did you want to maintain one aspect of his personality after the audience watched the movie? He was a complicated man.

"Yes, he was a complicated man. He was loved and loved, but many hated him. At the age of 21, people were you. Imagine being obsessed with it, while its extreme worship, and you have people who say you're doing the work of the devil ... it's a conflict. He's his mother's It was complicated from the moment it came out of the womb. But for me, I was very fascinated by this idea. Who is Elvis Presley when he is alone in his room at the end of the night? The moment he finally became quiet after all the noise had disappeared. "

What was the most amazing thing he discovered in his two years?

"There were many things, but I think the most noticeable thing was the context of the beginning of his life, which I didn't know the most in history. He was a twin. He first came into contact with humans in the womb, where Jesse (his brother) first came out and wasn't alive, so the moment he was born. The other half of him from is gone. His mother experienced the most intense sadness she has ever felt, and here Elvis comes, so he sees it as a miracle from the moment he was born. But that event changed his rest of his life.

Austin Butler as Elvis.
Austin Butler as Elvis. Photo: Warner Brothers

"Then he grows terribly dirty. He's in the black district. I'm in one of the few white houses. I can't tell the story of Elvis without the fact that there is no Elvis without black music and black culture, so I need to put it in context. His movements, singing. One, clothes, all inspired by what he loved when he was young ... that is, giving credit wherever he needs it.

"I The Black Lives Matter movement was happening when we were making the movie ... So I'm interested in people seeing it and asking themselves. Through the wonderful decision he made, the song. I saw a moment, and another moment when the Marlon brand wasn't an activist at the time. There are a lot of questions that I think are very powerful in the world at this point. "

I think it's scary to get an Elvis gig, but then he needs to play too. This is a completely different thing. How do you overcome it?

"There is a deep fear of being involved in this kind of thing, so some of them threw themselves deep into it very early on ... I'm afraid. But such moments help you get used to the fear. Fear of humiliation, fear of failure, and disappointment of him and his family, but the pressure can disappoint you. Boost. I didn't sleep for two years — I didn't do anything else for two years (laughs). That obsession led to me never wanting to settle down. I kept trying to get deep into him. So the horror turned out to be free energy. I didn't need coffee because I couldn't get up at 3am and fall asleep. I feel really sick, but he for two years. I am honored to be able to live as.

Austin Butler as Elvis Presley.
Austin Butler as Elvis Presley. Photo: Warner Bros.

Priscilla Presleyshared her admiration for the film on social media. Did she give you any advice?

"When I first met her, she said a few words. That wasn't said. It looked in her eyes and these were him. It was an eye to look at and I knew this was the mother of his only child. She told me, "You have big shoes to meet, but you have a lot of support. .'”

Elvis star Austin Butler and Priscilla Presley attend The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating the opening of the “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” exhibition on Monday, May 2, 2022, in New York.
Elvis Star Austin Butler and Priscilla Presley at the Metropolitan Museum of Art The Art Costume Institute will benefit Gala celebrating the opening of the "In America: Fashion Anthology" exhibition in New York on Monday, May 2, 2022. Photo: Evan Agostini/Associated Press

So how do you shake Elvis after living as Elvis for two years? Is it?

"First, you cross the finish line and they say," It's the end. " But I didn't know what to do with myself. I really fell down and wasn't focused on anything in my life as Austin. I wasn't focusing on what I loved because I always focused on what Elvis loved, and his dreams, passions and fears. It's all through his lens. But then you're done, suddenly your life is flooded, and suddenly it's in the process of dropping out. It took me a while to let go. I had to find a hobby, go out into nature, and take the time to regain my reality.

Elvisis currently in the theater

mdaniell @ postmedia. com

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