Austin Butler knew he would play the iconic American icon before Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis script reached his desk. He practiced his singing and movements daily. Butler had to go through a lot of outfitting and preparation before he could play the King of Rock.
Although Butler isn’t the most famous actor, it’s finally his time. Like many others, Butler’s casting for Elvis Presley was a surprise. He even beat Harry Styles and Miles Teller. It could have just been fate, but the truth is that it was fate. Vogue interviewed Butler about his return to Los Angeles after he made his Broadway debut in Eugene O’Neill’s play “Iceman Cometh” alongside Denzel Washington. Ex-girlfriend Vanessa Hudgens noticed him singing along to “Blue Christmas”, and suggested that he should play Elvis.
He found out that Luhrmann was writing a script about the singer. He was musically gifted, and he learned to play the piano and guitar at an early age. But he had to do a lot of hard work to imitate Elvis and his many mannerisms.
Butler stated, “I just said that I’m going all-in for this.”
He is more than just a singer and a dancer. Butler spends hours trying on hundreds of costumes to look the part. Luhrmann’s wife Catherine Martin was also the costume designer for Elvis’s production. She worked on “Moulin Rouge!” as well as “The Great Gatsby.” Martin refers to the difficult outfitting process Butler went through in the Vogue article.
Martin, a mother of two with Luhrmann, says “Poor Austin” to protect their star. He spent hours fitting clothes, after hours of practice. We probably did 25 jumpsuits for three different body types in one sitting. Because he is so willing to go the extra mile, you had to double-check yourself. It was necessary to ask him, “Have you ever had a glass of water?”
Martin discusses the process of creating the iconic looks, in addition to Butler’s appearance in over 100 costumes. Elvis’ charisma on stage comes partly from his “flamboyant type of feminine dressing with an incredibly raw, masculine sexuality”. Martin describes the work that goes into creating iconic looks.
Martin and Luhrmann are two of the most popular duos in Hollywood. They are known for their stunning visuals and outrageous statements. The standard should not be broken with Butler in the jumpsuit.
In April 2014, the project was announced for the first time. However, production and filming were delayed by the pandemic. The film will finally be released this June 2022 after a long development.