Austin Butler Says He ‘Put Life on Pause for 2 Years’ to Prepare to Play Elvis Presley

by Samantha Whidden

With his new film “Elvis” set to hit theaters next month, Austin Butler reveals how he prepared to play the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley

PageSix reports that during a press conference at the Cannes Film Festival, Austin Butler revealed that he put his life on hold for two years in order to play Elvis Presley. “I just absorbed everything that I possibly could,” Butler stated about his experience. 

Austin Butler then admitted that he went down a “rabbit hole of obsession” when it came to assuming the Elvis Presley role. “I broke down his life into periods of time where I could hear the differences in how his voice changed over the years,” Butler explained. “And I spent two years studying, trying to find his humanity as best as I could through that.”

Meanwhile, Austin Butler said that the tricky thing is that others see Elvis as an icon and not anything about his personal life. However, he had to find a way to strip all of the fame away and find the very human nature of the musician. “That was deeper than all of that, that’s what was fascinating for me.”

Austin Butler further revealed that he had unrealistic expectations when it came to filming for the role. “When I first started, I put these unrealistic expectations on myself that somehow, if I worked hard enough, I could make my face identical to Elvis’ face. And that my eyes would look exactly like Elvis’ eyes and you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.”

In regards to what ties him to Elvis Presley, Austin Butler declared, “At a certain point that becomes like going to the wax museum and what is really important is that his soul comes out.”

Austin Butler Says Playing Elvis Presley Was ‘The Joy’ of His Life

Meanwhile, Austin Butler spoke about how playing Elvis Presley was “the joy” of his life, despite some challenges. He also revealed his thoughts about Presley’s family praising him for his portrayal. 

“It just brought tears to my eyes,” Butler further commented. “Because there’s never been a person who I’ve never met that I love more than Elvis. I’ve lived with him for three years. The feeling of doing him justice, justice to his legacy, and bringing life to this extraordinary man, and to make Lisa Marie, Priscilla, and Riley, and the entire family proud. I could not be more overjoyed and feel over the moon about that.”

According to IMDb, “Elvis” is a look at the life of the legendary rock and roll star, Elvis Presley. The film is directed by Baz Luhrmann. Starring with Butler in the film are Tom Hanks, Olivia DeJonge, Dacre Montgomery, David Wenham, and Kodi Smit-McPhee. The film will be released on June 24th.