Tom Hanks Offered Austin Butler a Role Right After ELVIS To Help Prevent « Emotional Whiplash »

Actor Austin Butler started off his career as a Disney kid, starring in several series for the network, and later moving to other shows. He broke into film just a few years ago, and got his first Oscar nomination this year after having played the role of music icon Elvis Presley in the biopic Elvis, directed by Baz Luhrmann. He immersed himself in the part, nailing the king of rock and roll’s specific accent, singing voice, dance moves, and essence. This was the type of role that would be hard to shake, apparent to fans that heard him speak at the awards ceremonies and talk show interviews this year, as well as his co-star, Tom Hanks.

Hanks has been in the business for decades, and has also played some heavy roles, and he could see the future laid out for his friend. He knew this was going to be a difficult role for Butler to separate himself from, so he offered Butler a role in his Apple TV+ miniseries Masters of the Air. Hanks executive produced the project alongside Steven Spielberg, and he had a part in mind for Austin Butler.

According to Butler, Hanks told him:

“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… and, you know, I’ve got this thing I’m producing.’”

Butler said “Elvis” forced him “to go to the very edge of what is possible, and not every experience will be like that. 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.”

Butler prepped for three years to play Elvis Presley, including drinking melted Häagen-Dazs ice cream in order to gain weight for the movie. The actor told GQ magazine last year that his commitment to the role was so immersive that he was diagnosed with a virus that hospitalized him the day after he wrapped production on the music biopic. The virus simulated appendicitis and left Butler bedridden for one week.

“The next day [after filming wrapped] I woke up at four in the morning with excruciating pain, and I was rushed to the hospital,” Butler said. “My body just started shutting down the day after I finished ‘Elvis.’”

Now that’s commitment, and it certainly paid off, but it sounds like it ended just in time for the star. Elvis is now available to stream on Max.

via: Crumpa

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