When Austin Butler landed the lead role in ‘Elvis,’ he knew he was going to be in the Hollywood spotlight. He beat out Harry Styles and Miles Teller in the role and worked with the famous Baz Luhrmann in his first leading role. An event that would change his career prepared by consulting Leonardo DiCaprio, who saw his career explode after starring in ‘Romeo + Juliet’ and repeated with the director in ‘The Great Gatsby’.
A little less talk and a lot more action
In an interview with EW, Butler revealed the advice DiCaprio gave him about working with the Australian director.
“Leo said to me, ‘Baz will constantly keep you baffled and bring things out of you that you never knew you had inside of you. That’s exactly the experience I had.”
Luhrmann’s tendency to change scenes frequently at the last minute on set It was a source of frustration for Butler, but the actor believes being open-minded led to some of the best moments in the film.
“There were days when I just thought, ‘Baz, why don’t we just do what we planned? I realized that he would push me to the limit of what I was capable of. You catch lightning in a bottle somehow: if you had done what you had prepared, it might have been more stale.”
But instead of “spontaneous fits of inspiration,” Butler believes that those last-minute changes are a testament to Luhrmann’s diligent preparation.
“To play jazz, you have to know music theory. You have to know the scales on that guitar inside and out, but at the end of the day, you’re improvising. You have all this knowledge and practice that then goes into this present moment and plays with whatever is in front of you. That’s the way Baz is because he works so hard in preparation. When it comes time to shoot, I will have been preparing a scene for a year, and then suddenly the day the scene changes completely.”