Actor Austin Butler recently showed just how well he immersed himself in his role as the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley. The actor wrapped up filming for the Baz Luhrmann’s biopic in March 2022 after it was pushed back due to some COVID cases on set.
Since filming wrapped up, Butler revealed that he still had problems trying not to fall back to the accent. The 30-year-old said that a number of things triggered him to speak in the famous southern twang, and immersing himself in the role made it a fiber of his being.
Butler appeared in a show and gave the audience a run down of Presley’s voice impressions over the years, starting from when the artist was a teen to an adult. He also gave the host, Jimmy Fallon, some lessons on Presley’s dance moves.
Austin Butler Showed Off His Elvis Presley Impressions
Butler still hasn’t gotten over his recent lead role in Luhrmann’s “Elvis” biopic. The 30-year-old appeared on “The Tonight Show” and talked about his time in the movie and its continued impacts on his daily life. He said, “I’m on Jimmy Fallon talking about playing Elvis Presley … it just blows my mind.”
Butler also showed the audience of the show several impressions of the iconic singer between 1954 and 1972. These included Elvis’ voice and mannerisms, all of which the actor learned while he studied extensively to play the character.
“He’s nervous— his voice, at the time, you speak a lot faster when you’re nervous,” Butler explained while talking about the 19-year-old version of Presley. He also gave an impression of the singer’s voice when he was 21-year-old as well. As for Presley in 1972, Butler revealed that at the time, the singer’s voice went “more forward than to his face.”
Butler Taught Fallon The ‘Shake, Rattle And Roll’
On the show, Butler took the conversation a step further by taking Fallon through some of Presley’s most famous and iconic moves. While doing a move that he called “The side one,” he explained to the show host that he needed to move an arm “like a windmill” while keeping the other one down like he was “holding a cane.”
“That’s right,” Fallon said while he imitated Butler. “He’s the best.” When they stopped dancing, the actor opened up about his experience playing the iconic artist who died in 1977 at the age of 42. “Elvis… didn’t do choreography in the way that Michael [Jackson] did,” he explained. “It was all the music moving him.“
The 30-year-old added that although there were some notable moves the singer displayed that he had to be specific about, the rest of it was just the music moving him. “Obviously there are signature things that he did that you have to be specific about,” he added. “But it was all about the way that the music moved him.”
Butler Said He Talked Like Elvis Sometimes
In a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight, Butler revealed that sometimes his voice slipped back into how he sounded while playing Presley even though filming ended months ago. According to him, immersing himself in the role for two years made it a fiber of his being.
“It’s one of those things where certain things trigger it,” he said. “When you live with something for two years and do nothing else, I think that you can’t help it. It becomes a fiber of your being.“
In a similar conversation with Elle Australia on July 6, the actor revealed that he was still struggling to shake off the Southern twang. He shared, “You spend so much time obsessing about one thing, and it really is like muscular habits, your mouth can change. It’s pretty amazing. I know that I’m constantly changing.” Butler then jokingly asked for fans to check in with him 20 years from now when he has played more roles. “Who knows what I’ll sound like!”
Austin Butler Said Playing Presley Felt Like A Weight On Him
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During the interview with Entertainment Tonight, Butler revealed that while playing Presley, he tried to portray the iconic artist as not just the King Of Rock And Roll but as a human figure. The 30-year-old also shed some light on how the responsibility of playing the famous cultural figure placed a “weight like I never felt before” on his shoulders.
“And there is a responsibility to his family and also putting his story into context,” he said. That’s the thing. There were so many misconceptions about him, there’s so many ideas of him. So I felt the responsibility to bring the humanity.”
Luhrmann’s “Elvis” biopic premiered at Cannes Film Festival held in France on May 25. After screening the film received a 12-minute standing ovation from the audience. “Elvis” will reportedly be released to theaters nationwide on June 24.
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