HomeAmerican EntertainmentPeople‘Elvis’ Star Austin Butler Reveals He Spent a Mind-Blowing Amount of Time Away From Family for Role

‘Elvis’ Star Austin Butler Reveals He Spent a Mind-Blowing Amount of Time Away From Family for Role

by Joe Rutland
(Photo by Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty Images)

When it came to playing Elvis Presley on the big screen, Austin Butler became completely consumed with his portrayal. In fact, Butler had to spend time away from his family in order to prepare for playing Presley. Butler reportedly spent three years away from his family. He also reportedly didn’t speak with people for months.

Butler sat down for an Actors on Actors interview for Variety with Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery actress Janelle Monáe. He spoke about preparing to hit the big screen as Presley in the Baz Luhrmann movie.

Austin Butler Headed To The Hospital Day After Filming Wrapped

“During ‘Elvis,’ I didn’t see my family for about three years,” he said. “I was prepping with Baz, and then I went to Australia. I had months where I wouldn’t talk to anybody. And when I did, the only thing I was ever thinking about was Elvis. I was speaking in his voice the whole time…This is what it takes.”

There were other challenges around filming of the movie, including doing scenes out of sequence in the Presley timeline. He said that for the second day of filming, Butler did his first Elvis performance and it was his comeback performance.

“It was so nerve-racking because I had a year and a half before that point to prepare,” Austin Butler said. “And all the preparation is for nothing if you don’t get it. Before walking out onstage, I really had the terror: ‘My career feels like it’s on the line in this moment.’ But at that point in Elvis’ life, his career was on the line and he had terror.” 

Additional challenges were there when the movie was done filming. Back in May, Butler talked about being hospitalized after the filming of the movie, Fox News reports. “The next day [after filming wrapped] I woke up at 4 in the morning with excruciating pain, and I was rushed to hospital,” Butler said. “My body just started shutting down the day after I finished ‘Elvis,'” Butler told GQ magazine. 

In Elvis, Austin Butler becomes Presley’s full-on persona. While he looks pretty confident while dancing like Presley did a long time ago, Butler said he’s pretty shy when it comes to dancing. He also said that he had not danced much in public before the movie. “I’ve only had a couple moments before filming ‘Elvis’ where I danced in public, because I was very, very shy. I’d always be a wallflower at a party,” Butler said. Butler played Presley in the movie alongside Tom Hanks, who played Colonel Tom Parker, and Olivia DeJonge. She played the late singer’s former wife Priscilla.