Baz Luhrmann's Elvis biopic recently premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and received a 12-minute standing ovation, the longest of this year's festival so far. The audience, as well as Priscilla Presley, raved about the performance. of Austin Butler, who portrays the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley in the film. Butler stars opposite several A-list celebrities, including Tom Hanks, Olivia DeJonge, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Jimmie Rodgers, Yola Quartey, and Kelvin Harrison.
The film earned great reviews from critics and the singer's family members, including Lisa Marie Presley, grandaughter Riley Keough and Priscilla. Lisa Marie even called the film, "nothing short of spectacular," saying, "Austin channeled and embodied my father's heart and soul beautifully. In my humble opinion, his performance is unprecedented and finally done accurately and respectfully. If he doesn't get an Oscar for this, I will eat my own foot."
Keough weighted in on Butler's performance, revealing she began to cry five minutes into watching the film. She noted, "I could feel how much work Baz and Austin put into trying to get it right. That made me emotional immediately...I felt honored they worked so hard to really get his essence, to feel his essence. Austin captured that so beautifully."
I think it's safe to say that Butler is pretty much sitting on the edge of stardom, but how exactly did he get here?
Who is Austin Butler?
The 30-year-old newcomer started out his career on Nickelodeon and Disney Channel back in the 2000s. He didn't quite have a show of his own, but he was heavily featured in several well-known shows, including Hannah Montana, iCarly, Zoey 101 and Wizards of Waverly Place. He went on to get a big role in Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide, playing Zippy Brewster for 41 episodes.
Moving networks, Butler starred as Sebastian Kydd in a short Sex in the City spin-off series, The Carrie Diaries. Fast forward a few years, he starred alongside Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood portraying Tex Watson. That same year, 2019, Butler was cast as Elvis Presley in the biographical film, beating out other actors including Harry Styles, Miles Teller and Ansel Elgort. As expected, this role launched his career even further and he's basically been the talk of the town ever since.
This is only the beginning for Butler. In February of 2021, he was cast as a lead in Master of the Air, which is a war drama miniseries. In March 2022, it was reported that he was cast to play Feyd-Rautha in the upcoming fiction film, Dune: Part Two.
For a while, the actor was in the spotlight due to his relationship with Vanessa Hudgens. The couple ultimately decided to split up after nine years, and he is now dating Cindy Crawford's daughter, Kaia Gerber.
Elvis Has Entered the Building
After being cast, Butler repeatedly stated that he researched a great amount to portray Elvis the best he could. Speaking with GQ, the actor stated, "Elvis is such a superhuman figure, so to me, it was the curiosity of finding out, who is he as a human? And delve into studying everything I could on him." Butler revealed that after the film wrapped, he was so exhausted that he experienced intense physical pain after the shoot.
He noted, "The next day I woke up at four in the morning with excruciating pain, and I was rushed to hospital." The actor told GQ that his body began to shut down. He said he was required to convalesce for a week after the doctors had diagnosed him with a virus that can later trigger appendicitis.
Throughout the journey, Luhrmann has praised Butler's performance and connection with Elvis, saying that they were alike in several ways. "Elvis was an intensely spiritual person, and I think Austin has a really spiritual quality to him," he told GQ. "He has a very sensitive and big inner life. He's very lovely on the outside, but you know there's deep thinking going on on the inside.'
Elvis is set to be released on June 24, 2022.
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