Austin Butler wanted to make sure that his portrayal of Elvis Presley in Elvis was accurate. The Oscar-nominated actor detailed just how far he went to commit to the role.
The biographical film follows Elvis’s rise to fame through different eras of his career, Butler, 31, revealed he needed to gain weight to play the older version of Presley. “I heard that Ryan Gosling, when he was going to do The Lovely Bones, had microwaved Häagen-Dazs and would drink it. So I started doing that,” he explained to Variety.
While he revealed that he wore a body suit to portray Presley during the scenes in the film, he added that he did everything he could possibly do to prepare for those moments. “I would go get two dozen doughnuts and eat them all. I really started to pack on some pounds. It’s fun for a week or so, and then you feel awful with yourself,” he continued. “But we were planning on shooting chronologically in the beginning. That quickly went out the window, then especially with COVID. It was just impossible.”
As the movie’s filming and release date faced multiple COVID pandemic-related delays, the Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood actor explained during a press conference at the Cannes Film Festival in May that he put his “life on pause for two years” to absorb “everything” about Presley.
“I just went down the rabbit hole of obsession. And I broke down his life into periods of time where I could hear the differences in how his voice changed over the years and how his movement changed over the years and I spent two years studying, trying to find his humanity as best as I could through that,” he added.
Butler was recently featured on Vanity Fair‘s Hollywood issue alongside other stars like Florence Pugh, Selena Gomez, Jonathan Majors, Keke Palmer, Jeremy Allen White, and more.