Austin Butler Was So Dedicated To His Role In “Elvis” That He Lost Touch Of Who He Actually Is And Ended Up In The Hospital After Filming Wrapped

Baz Luhrmann’s epic biopic about the life and career of Elvis Presley has certainly been a long time coming.

Elvis was supposed to begin filming in Lurhmann's home country of Australia in March 2020, but just days before the shoot, one of its stars, Tom Hanks, was hospitalised with COVID-19.

Production was halted indefinitely as the severity of the pandemic became clear. However, Austin Butler, who plays the title character in the film, declined the invitation to be flown back to his home in Los Angeles.

Instead, he chose to stay in Australia and use the lockdown to fully immerse himself in all things Elvis. According to British GQ, the actor transformed his apartment into a "detective scene" in order to immerse himself as deeply as possible in the real-life character he was portraying.

"It's just images of Elvis from every era," Austin told the publication. "I believe the film would have been very different if we had begun shooting at that point, and I'm grateful I had the time to marinate."

Six months later, filming began, and in that time Austin had learned everything there is to know about Elvis, having dedicated himself to listening to only his music and reading only about his life.

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Austin also discovered a deeper and more personal connection to the music legend after learning that both he and Elvis had lost their mothers when they were 23 years old.

Austin recalled memorising the entire script for the play's first table read and arriving at the theatre before Denzel for every single performance, both of which impressed his co-star.

The Hollywood legend eventually took Austin under his wing, and Austin referred to Denzel as his "acting coach" and "maybe even a life coach." Denzel was the one who drew Luhrmann's attention to Austin when he was looking for his Elvis.

In a reflection of the incredibly short turnaround between the two shoots, Austin confessed that he still felt like he was channeling Elvis after he landed in London, even in his new role as a World War II Army major.