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Austin Butler practiced some techniques in acting for his role as Elvis.
The actor spoke with Viman For their Fall Winter 2022 cover story about when he prepared for the role of a lifetime in “Elvis.”
In a certain scene, director Baz Luhrmann surprised the actor by inviting people to come to harass his performance.
“When I was on my first day in the recording studio, Buzz wanted me to get as close to performing as possible,” Butler recalls. “He had all the executives and everyone from RCA, who came back to the offices, and he brought them into the recording studio and said, ‘I want you all to sit facing Austin’…and tell them to pester me.”
He added, “After that they were making fun of me and things while I was singing.”
While the treatment may sound harsh, Butler found it helped him with a similar scene later in the movie.
“When we were filming this moment when Elvis first went up on stage and was teased by the audience, I knew how it felt,” he said. “I came home crying that night. I really did.”
Fortunately, the actor was not surprised by his strange directing technique as his friend Leonardo DiCaprio who worked with the director before on “Romeo + Juliet” (1996) and “The Great Gatsby” (2013) warned him.
“I’ve talked to Leo before and he said, ‘Baz is going to push you in ways you didn’t know anyone could,'” Butler said. “It’s going to make you lose your balance and keep you off-balance.”