Austin Butler Elvis movie is a terrifying portrayal of a rock ‘n’ roll legend

A few years ago, American actor Austin Butler was a teenage heartthrob who melted hearts all over the world The Carrie Diaries

This week, the dazzling, cherubic 30-year-old Californian with perfect skin came of age, starring in Baz Luhrmann’s “effervescent, delirious, mischievous energetic, compulsively observable… fever dreamelvis.

Next year, the talented guitarist and pianist who grew up in Anaheim (near Disneyland) will no doubt be walking the red carpet of a different kind… in downtown Hollywood on March 12 for the 95th Academy Awards… en route to a Oscar for Best Actor in a Musical.

It’s still a long way off, but being “haunting display” of the rock and roll legend makes him a frontrunner.

“Austin Butler has beautifully channeled and embodied my father’s heart and soul…in my humble opinion, his performance is unprecedented and ultimately done with precision and respect,” says Elvis. wrote daughter Lisa Marie Presley on Instagram.

“If he doesn’t get an Oscar for this, I’ll eat my own foot.”

During Butler’s press tour in Sydney, the actor revealed that he and Luhrmann had met Elvis’ ex-wife Priscilla, 77, before production began.

Butler said two of her comments stood out to him: that he had “big shoes to fill” and that he had “a lot of support.”

“There were all these unspoken things [during the meeting]Butler told: Elle magazine in an interview about the meeting.

“It was like looking into Priscilla’s eyes and seeing this woman that Elvis fell in love with so many years ago, and she was madly in love with him and still loves him to this day. She knew him better than anyone.”

After Luhrmann delivered an advanced screening of the film for Priscilla and longtime Elvis colleague Jerry Schilling in April, the king’s ex-wife had nothing but praise for Butler’s performance.

“Austin Butler, who played Elvis, is excellent. Half way through the movie Jerry and I looked at each other and said WOW!!! Bravo to him…he knew he had to fill big shoes. He was extremely nervous playing this role. I can only imagine,” Priscilla wrote on Facebook

“This story is about the relationship between Elvis and Colonel Parker. It’s a true story told brilliantly and creatively that only Baz, in his unique artistic way, could have delivered.”

Melbourne premiere

Luhrmann’s wife, Catherine Martin, 57, was the film’s producer, production designer and costume designer.

Addressing audiences ahead of the film’s Melbourne premiere at Crown Casino on Tuesday night, she said Butler had captured the essence of someone who was “a historic figure for his humanity”.

“It was an incredible joy to see Austin create such a dynamic portrait of Elvis,” she said.

And the public agreed.

Enchanted, they watched as Luhrmann weaved his cinematic Moulin-Rouge-esque magic, taking Butler’s Elvis from a young and impressionable voyeur in overalls, writhing in a black gospel church housed in a tent, to a Hollywood star and Las Vegas legend.

Narrated by Tom Hanks’ Dutch puppeteer Colonel Tom Parker, who was Elvis’ manager, and interwoven with a complex series of storyboards and headlines from the 1950s to Elvis’s death in 1977, the film rises on the back of Butler’s impressive performance.

“I couldn’t take my eyes off Austin Butler. I felt like one of the screaming girls in the movie,” said one spectator, who had arrived early with popcorn and free champagne.

Another echoed the sentiments of many as the lights came on after two and a half hours of cinema time:Elvis is an incredible film, albeit sadder than initially expected. Butler’s performance is a highlight.”

And this, from a fan wearing a black velvet tuxedo to opening night: “Austin Butler was amazing – he moved and talked like Elvis and brought a welcome intensity to the movie”.

Baz Luhrmann with Butler in a scene where he is sent to military service for two years after getting into trouble for freaking out female crowds with his sexualized rock and roll performances. Photo: Warner Bros

How Butler Was Cast and How He Prepared to Be a ‘Detective’

It’s far from the first time a Hollywood star has been asked to fill the shoes of a towering cultural figure — think Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana in SpencerTaron Edgerton as Elton John in rocket manor Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash in Walk across the line, to name a few.

They all prepare differently.

In an April cover story for Fashiontells Butler the moment he knew what to put on his audition tape when he learned that Luhrmann was working on a script.

Butler’s mother died when he was 23 years old – the same age Elvis lost his mother Gladys (played by Helen Thomson) – but one day he awoke from a nightmare and thought his mother was alive, but dying.

“It felt so fresh and sore,” Butler said.

“I thought he probably had nights where he woke up from nightmares like this. So what can I do with that?”

In his dressing gown he went to the piano and “just started fidgeting”.

“I was practicing” Melody unleashed a while, but I used to sing it to a lover,’ Butler said.

“That night I sang it to my mother. I was trying not to look and sound like Elvis.

“I wasn’t trying to do anything but take that emotion and pour it into the song.”

Luhrmann received the tape and was floored: “What I heard vocally, and more importantly, what I saw emotionally, was something that just couldn’t be ignored”.

“From the moment I met Austin, he had something of Elvis with him. He had a touch of swagger, a touch of sound.”

Butler got the job right. Photo: Warner Bros

Just days before filming on the Gold Coast began in March 2020, COVID-19 struck. Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson tested positive and eventually returned to the US before resuming shooting later in the year.

Butler stayed behind.

He got an ocean-view apartment on the Gold Coast for three months, immersing himself in Elvis’ world, becoming a “sponge” and creating walls of photos and stories, using rope to connect the puzzle that encompasses Elvis’ life. used to be.

“He was the American dream,” Butler said in a recent video interview released Tuesday by Warner Bros.

“I started by just being a sponge, reading every book I could get my hands on and looking at every picture I could find. Treat it like a detective.”

Luhrmann adds in the same clip: “That’s amazing, but it’s also problematic when it comes to exploring his life. Elvis said, it’s very hard to make a picture come true… And Austin went on an extraordinary three-year journey to discover the human being.”

Tom Hanks, 65, who won Oscars for his leading roles in Philadelphia (1994) and Forest Gump (1995), said he couldn’t take his eyes off Butler.

“No matter what the scene was – he’s on stage, performing, singing, full on, full tilt, the near-the-best dedication was instantly impressive.”

austin butler
Luhrmann starred on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival on May 25, where the film received an epic 12-minute standing ovation.

So what’s next for the rising star?

Some might say it took Butler 17 years to become a nighttime star.

He began with guest appearances on Disney and Nickelodeon teen TV series and went on to appear in roles in family adventure films such as Strangers in the attic (2010) and Sharpay’s Fantastic Adventure (2010).

Then came the ABC Family series Exchanged at birth and The Carrie Diaries and stage productions, for a small part in Quentin Tarantino’s film Once upon a time in Hollywood (2019), as a fictionalized version of infamous Manson relative Tex Watson.

That same month Luhrmann closed the deal with him Elvis

According to IMDbButler is filming a TV miniseries Masters of the Air and is cast in the blockbuster of 2023 Dune: part twowhich is in pre-production.

Elvis will premiere at the Sydney Film Festival on June 15-17 and will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros and released in Australian cinemas on June 23

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