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What happens after spending almost three years of your life studying and playing the role of Elvis Presley? If you’re the star of “Elvis” Austin Butler, your body shuts down almost immediately and you’re sent to the hospital.
The actor told GQ magazine he was diagnosed with a virus that hospitalized him the day after production on Baz Luhrmann’s musical biopic wrapped. The virus simulated appendicitis and left Butler bedridden for a week.
“The next day [after filming wrapped] I woke up at 4 a.m. in excruciating pain and was rushed to the hospital,” Butler said. “My body started to shut down the day after Elvis ended. “
Butler was officially cast as Elvis in July 2019 after auditioning for Luhrmann with a haunting rendition of “Unchained Melody.”
PRISCILLA PRESLEY PRADES ‘ELVIS’ BIOPIC WITH AUSTIN BUTLER
Once the actor began immersing himself in the life and music of Elvis Presley, he didn’t stop. Filming for the film was put on hold due to COVID in March 2020, just as production was beginning.
As GQ reports, “Producers were ready to take Butler home to Los Angeles, but he decided to stay put and hide and use the break to dig even deeper into his character. He basically transformed his apartment into a detective scene, a la Charlie in ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’, unearthing a vast mailroom conspiracy. “Just pictures of Elvis everywhere, from every period,” Butler says. “I think the film would have been very different if we had started shooting at this point, and I’m grateful that I had the time to marinate.””
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Butler also prepared for “Elvis” by meeting the late music icon’s ex-wife, Priscilla Presley. “She looked like an angel,” Butler said. “I then walked down the hall with Baz with tears in my eyes.” Priscilla, along with her daughter Lisa Marie and granddaughter Riley Keough, have since adored “Elvis” and praised Butler for his performance.
Warner Bros. is set to debut “Elvis” in US theaters on June 24. The film has its world premiere this month at the Cannes Film Festival.
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