More than a year after Elvis hit theaters, Austin Butler is reflecting on the aftermath of his career-defining role.
As I’m sure you’ll recall, Austin was incredibly dedicated to his portrayal of Elvis Presley — perhaps most memorably by speaking with the singer’s southern drawl for nearly two years after filming wrapped.
While promoting the film last year, Austin opened up about how deeply the role impacted him, saying that Elvis became part of his “DNA,” and even admitting that he didn’t see his family “for about three years” while he was focused on nailing the part.
Of course, Austin’s hard work certainly paid off. He earned himself an Oscar nomination, as well as a Golden Globe win for Best Actor in a Drama Motion Picture.
And now, the actor is reflecting on the award-winning performance, and how he was eventually able to extract himself from the role with some help from his costar, Tom Hanks, who played Elvis’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker.
After the pair worked closely together on the set of Elvis, Austin explained to the Sunday Times that Tom became increasingly concerned about his wellbeing.
According to Austin, his costar told him soon after they completed filming: “You have immersed yourself so deeply in Elvis that, for your mental health, it would be wise to go straight into something else.”
“If you just jump off the train, you might have emotional whiplash…,” he apparently said, before adding, “you know, I’ve got this thing I’m producing.”
Austin accepted the role, but we don't know for sure when exactly the new series will premiere. Although, it was reported that they were preparing to start shooting in Summer 2021 — just a few months after Elvis wrapped in March that year.
Interestingly, Austin admitted elsewhere in the interview that he doesn’t think he’ll ever have such an intense movie-making experience as he did on Elvis, which he said forced him to “go to the very edge of what is possible.”
“It’s what I realized doing Elvis…and not every experience will be like that,” he said. “I don’t think I’ll ever have an experience like that again, but if I have to really dig, it makes me feel alive.”
In May last year, Austin revealed during an interview with GQ that he gave so much to the movie that he spiraled into sickness right after they wrapped in 2021.
“The next day I woke up at four in the morning with excruciating pain, and I was rushed to the hospital,” he told the outlet. “My body just started shutting down the day after I finished Elvis.”
On top of this, the 31-year-old actor also divulged that he developed some pretty unhealthy habits on set in order to gain weight for the part.
“I heard that Ryan Gosling, when he was going to do The Lovely Bones, had microwaved Häagen-Dazs and would drink it. So I started doing that,” he told Variety on another occasion, admitting that the diet made him feel “awful.”
“I would go get two dozen doughnuts and eat them all,” he said. “I really started to pack on some pounds.”
You can read Austin’s full interview with the Sunday Times here.