Austin Butler spent three years away from family during 'Elvis' prep and filming: 'This is what it takes'
Prepping to play the King of Rock and Roll was no easy task for Austin Butler. The journey of playing Elvis Presley prevented Butler from seeing his family for three years and he sometimes did not speak with anyone for months at a time. Butler recently did an "Actors on Actors" interview for Variety with "Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery" actress Janelle Monáe where he spoke on preparing to play Presley in the Baz Luhrmann movie. "During ‘Elvis,’ I didn’t see my family for about three years. I was prepping with Baz, and then I went to Australia. I had months where I wouldn’t talk to anybody," the actor said. "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." BEST FRIENDS AUSTIN BUTLER AND ASHLEY TISDALE RECENTLY DISCOVERED THEY ARE RELATED Other than the immense preparation Butler went through in order to fully be in character, he also discussed some of the other challenges of filming the movie, such as shooting scenes out of sequence. During the second day of shooting the movie, Butler shot his very first performance as Elvis, which happened to be his iconic comeback performance. "It was so nerve-racking because I had a year and a half before that point to prepare. And all the preparation is for nothing if you don’t get it," Butler said. "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.". Other challenges arose after filming was complete. In May, the actor spoke about how he was hospitalized following the filming of the movie. AUSTIN BUTLER TO STAR IN ‘THE BIKERIDERS’ WITH TOM HARDY AND JODIE COMER "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 the film, Butler is fully immersed in Presley's persona. Even though Butler looks confident dancing in the movie similar to how Presley did years ago, he shared that he actually is quite shy when it comes to dancing and 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," the actor explained. Butler played the legendary singer and performer in the 2022 movie with Tom Hanks, who played Colonel Tom Parker and Olivia DeJonge, who played the late singer's former wife Priscilla.