Austin Butler can’t help but slip into Elvis Presley’s accent when having a “Little Less Conversation.”
The “Elvis” star was left bedridden after completing production on Baz Luhrmann’s musical biopic of the King of Rock ‘n Roll, in theaters June 24. But despite his body recovering, Butler still can’t stop using Presley’s accent day to day.
“At this point, I keep asking people, ‘Is this my voice?’ because this feels like my real [voice]. It’s one of those things where certain things trigger it and other times as well it’s, I don’t know,” Butler said to Entertainment Tonight. “When you live with something for two years, and you do nothing else, I think that you can’t help it. It becomes a fiber of your being.”
The former Disney Channel star had to sing, dance, and move like Presley while filming the epic musical, with Butler adding that he “had to work hard” to master Presley’s body language.
“The thing with him is they weren’t moves, they were coming out of the feel of the music,” Butler said. “So, for me, it had to be about finding the feeling of the music, moving me in that way. That was really fun. It was liberating.”
And the “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood” alum was determined to authentically embody Presley as much as possible.
“There’s so many things out there that have become these caricatures, so even talking about him curling his lip, it’s something he didn’t do as much as we think he did,” Butler shared. “It was finding how subtle can you go with things and still have the essence. It was this constant back and forth, and that’s the tricky thing, going back and forth between incredibly technical things and then never losing the humanity. That was the goal, always have his soul in there.”
Butler even took on the “responsibility” to shut down “misconceptions” of Presley with the tiniest details, including Presley’s real-life anxiety before performances.
“The fact that I knew he experienced stage fright, it relieved so much, because I knew in those moments, I’m feeling fear, but he was feeling fear, so it’s not something that you need to not feel in order to do the things that you believe in,” Butler continued. “So that was beautiful.”
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