Elvis: Austin Butler says he was left ‘in tears’ following Baz Luhrmann’s method approach

Leonardo DiCaprio had warned Butler that the director would ‘push you in ways you didn’t know somebody could’

Ellie Harrison
Thursday 28 July 2022 07:49 BST
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Baz Luhrmann's Elvis trailer

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Austin Butler has revealed that he left the set of Elvis “in tears” one day after director Baz Luhrmann encouraged studio executives to heckle him while he was singing.

The actor stars opposite Tom Hanks in the recent film about Elvis Presley’s life and career. Read The Independent’s four-star review here.

One scene in the movie sees Butler, playing Presley early on in his career, being jeered at by an unimpressed crowd.

In a new interview, Butler discussed singing in the RCA Studio B in Nashville, Tennessee where Presley himself recorded hundreds of tracks.

He told VMAN: “Well, when I was on my first day in the recording studio, Baz wanted me to get as close to performing as possible.

“He had all the executives and everybody from RCA, who were back in the offices, he brought them into the recording studio and he goes, ‘I want you all to sit facing Austin,’ and he told them to heckle me.

“So then they were making fun of me and stuff while I was singing.”

Austin Butler in ‘Elvis’
Austin Butler in ‘Elvis’ (Warner Bros)

He added: “When we were filming this moment when Elvis first goes on stage and he’s getting heckled by the audience, I knew what that felt like. I went home in tears that night. I really did.”

Austin said that Leonardo DiCaprio had warned him about Luhrmann’s method-style approach to filmmaking.

The actor, who worked with the director on Romeo + Juliet, apparently told him: “Baz is gonna push you in ways you didn’t know somebody could. He’s gonna push you off balance and keep you off balance.”

Elvis is out now in cinemas.

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