"I wallpapered my entire apartment": Elvis star Austin Butler opens up on his preparations to play rock and roll icon

A still from Elvis (Image via WB)
A still from Elvis (Image via WB)

Few would have expected Austin Butler to give chase to the big men of Hollywood for the race to the Oscars, but it seems like a very real possibility now. The Elvis star portrayed the Rock and Roll legend to the skin and impressed critics and fans alike. But it seems that the journey wasn't an easy one for the star, who had never done anything like this before.

In a recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Austin Butler revealed that he stayed back in Australia when the production for Elvis was halted due to COVID-19 and further prepared for the role. This was one of the defining phases of character development.


Austin Butler also revealed that he "papered" his entire apartment with images of Elvis from different eras during this time and stayed in quarantine, further delving into the rock star's persona.

The interview also revealed several key things he did to understand and fit into the shoes of Elvis Presley, arguably the most popular musician of all time.

"I had been so focused for so long, I knew I would lose my mind if I came back here": Austin Butler on preparing for his role as Elvis

Happy Birthday, Elvis Presley! The King of Rock’N’Roll would be 88 today! #ElvisPresley #Birthday #HappyBirthday #Celebrate

Doing biopics is hardly the easiest thing in the world, as most actors have previously been immensely affected by such deep dives into certain personas. It seems this was the case for Austin Butler as well.

Recalling the time when the production of Elvis was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Butler told Jimmy Kimmel about the time when they found out that Tom Hanks had contracted the disease:

"We didn’t know what it was. We had these scientists come beforehand and tell us what they thought it was. So we were all first worried about him and [Tom’s wife] Rita. And then once we knew they were okay, the studio called the movie force majeure, which essentially means they don’t have to pay anyone.
"The movie is ready,...But I knew, I had been so focused for so long, I knew I would lose my mind if I came back here. Because, you know, real life starts to flood you and you lose focus. So I stayed."

This was when Butler wallpapered his entire room with pictures of Elvis and obsessively listened to his songs. He continued this routine even after the quarantine period. He recalled:

"And then once I was allowed out of the apartment, you know, I usually woke up every day around 3 or 4 in the morning with this terror. It was such a daunting thing. And I was really guided by my terror really...

He continued:

"When I was finally able to leave the apartment, I was living on the beach in Australia, and I would walk the beach for hours with my headphones on laughing like Elvis. It seemed that this man was absolutely out of his mind. There were surfers looking at me and saying what was going on. That was my life."

It seems there was a lot of effort Austin Butler put in on his quest to become the greatest star of music, and hopefully, it will pay off in the numerous award ceremonies that are supposed to come out this year.

Elvis is now available on Amazon Prime Video.

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Edited by Shreya Das
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