Austin Butler revealed he stayed in Australia after COVID-19 halted production on Elvis and has spent lockdown preparing even better for his critically acclaimed performance.
The 31-year-old actor recalled how co-star Tom Hanks, 66, tested positive for coronavirus in March 2020 during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live Monday.
“We were there, I think, three days before filming started. And so I prepared for a year and a half,” said Austin, who received a Golden Globes nomination for his performance as Elvis Presley.
Scary role: Austin Butler revealed he stayed in Australia after COVID-19 halted production of Elvis and has spent lockdown preparing even better for his critically acclaimed performance
“We didn’t know what it was. We had had these scientists come in earlier and told each other what they thought. So we were all just worried about him at first and [Tom’s wife] Rita. And once we knew they were fine, the studio declared the film a force majeure, which essentially means they don’t have to pay anyone. The film is finished,’ he said.
The California native said Australian director Baz Luhrmann, 60, told him to return to the US.
“But I knew I’d just been so focused for so long that I knew if I came back here I was going to lose it. Because, you know, real life starts pouring in and you lose your focus. So I stayed,” Austin said.
Austin said that during the quarantine he “wallpapered” his entire apartment with pictures of Elvis from different time periods.
Critic acclaim: The 31-year-old actor is still being portrayed in an Elvis Presley biopic Elvis
“I had these compilations of his voice that I listened to every day, his laughter, different songs,” he said.
Austin said it was a time when he worked with dialect coaches, vocal coaches, a movement coach and karate instructors.
The actor said he quarantined himself for a few months before being allowed to leave the apartment.
Apartment wallpaper: Austin said that during the quarantine he “wallpapered” his entire apartment with pictures of Elvis from various time periods
“And then when I was allowed to leave the apartment, I would usually wake up at around 3 or 4 a.m. every day with this terror. It was such a scary thing. And I was really just being guided by my fear,” Austin said.
Austin said he would focus on how to sing a line from a song or how a certain word should be pronounced.
“And one thing was his laugh too. how does he laugh And so I made a compilation of his laughter,” Austin said.
Laugh Compilation: “And one was his laugh too. how does he laugh And so I made a compilation of his laughter,” Austin said
“By the time I was finally able to leave the apartment, I was living right on the beach in Australia and would spend hours walking along the beach with headphones on like Elvis. It looked like this man was completely insane. There were surfers who looked at me and said what was happening. That was my life,” Austin said.
Jimmy, 55, asked Austin, having become an Elvis authority with all his research, what was the strangest thing he’d done.
“I could talk to you about this for days. But the first thing that comes to mind is that I was reading and I was like, “This is a bizarre thing.” He was really into horses for a while. And apparently he loved hot dog buns too. He took the bag of hot dog buns and tied them to the saddle horn and ate them alone while he rode horses,” Austin said.
Strangest thing: Jimmy, 55, asked Austin, since he’d become an Elvis authority with all his research, which was the weirdest thing he did
Austin also shared that he’s looking forward to attending Tuesday’s Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California after being nominated for Best Performance in a Motion Picture – Drama.
“I remember being in Hollywood today thinking about driving up from Orange County with my mom for so many years and going to hundreds and hundreds of auditions without booking anything. Go to acting class, drive back two hours, and suddenly you’re sitting here with Jimmy Kimmel, going to the Golden Globes,” Austin said.
The actor also revealed that test footage Baz shared of him on YouTube six months ago was actually just costume test footage and he wasn’t supposed to sing that day.
Costume test: The actor also revealed that the test footage Baz shared of him singing on YouTube six months ago was actually just costume test footage and he wasn’t supposed to sing that day