‘Elvis’ audition ‘puts me through the wringer’

Play the long game.

Austin Butler auditioned for the lead role in Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis” for five months before the director awarded him the part.

The 30-year-old actor began the long process by sending Luhrmann, 59, a tape on which he sings “Unchained Melody” and plays the piano, he said on “The Kelly Clarkson Show” on Wednesday.

“Then I flew to New York and we met, and we just talked for three hours,” Butler added. “Then [Luhrmann] said, ‘Would you come in tomorrow and read some scenes from the script?’”

After the “Carrie Diaries” alum did, he was asked to come back the next day to sing some of Elvis Presley’s songs, including “Suspicious Minds.”

Austin Butler speaking "The Kelly Clarkson Show."
Austin Butler auditioned for ‘Elvis’ for five months.
The Kelly Clarkson Show/YouTube

“We ended up doing that for five months,” he revealed. “It was unlike any audition.”

When Kelly Clarkson joked that it sounded like “a relationship,” Butler described his screen test — in which Luhrmann “changed everything” he originally prepared without any notice.

Austin Butler and Baz Luhrmann on a red carpet.
Director Baz Luhrmann put Butler “through the wringer,” the actor joked.
Dave Benett/Getty Images for War

“He started filming while I [was] learn everything,” recalls the star of “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” “He put me through the wringer. I now realize that he likes to be very spontaneous on set, so he wanted to see if I was going crazy.”

Although Butler said he “didn’t think he was getting the part,” Luhrmann called him a week later with news of his success.

Austin Butler "elvis."
“Elvis” hits theaters on Friday.
AP

Since wrapping up “Elvis,” which hits theaters Friday, the “Shannara Chronicles” alum has been struggling to shake the late singer’s southern tone.

“I haven’t done anything else for two years, that’s such a big part of life,” he told Elle Australia earlier this month of his persistent accent. “It doesn’t surprise me that it clicks.

Austin Butler "elvis."
The film received a 12-minute standing ovation after its world premiere in May at the Cannes Film Festival in 2022.
AP

“You spend so much time obsessed with one thing, and it’s like muscle habits, your mouth can change. It’s pretty amazing.”

Butler acknowledged that his shy personality also plays a part, explaining, “When I know there are bits of Elvis I have to click to get on stage and be in front of a ton of people, surrounded by his name everywhere, there is a trigger.”

Leave a Comment