Harry Styles really wanted to play Elvis, but…

Harry Styles really wanted to play Elvis, but Baz Luhrmann refused because he was too famous
Warner Bros/Abaca

Baz Luhrmann refused because he was too famous!

Elvis caused a sensation when it was screened at the last Cannes Film Festival. This flamboyant Elvis Presley biopic is directed by Baz Luhrmann (Red Mill !) and worn by Austin Butler in the lead role. A 30-year-old actor little known to the general public: you may have seen him before in the series The Carrie Diaries Where The Shannara Chronicles, but it’s really Elvis which will make him a star.

Elvis: Austin Butler deserves the Oscar for best actor according to Lisa Marie Presley

Before casting him, the director had been approached by Harry Styles for this role: the singer, seen at the cinema in Dunkirk, Don’t Worry Darling and The Eternals, one of Marvel’s latest blockbusters, dreamed of playing the King on the big screen, but Baz told him no. He explained himself to Australian radio, guest on the show Fitzy & Wippa : “Harry is a very talented actor. I will work with him in the future, but his problem is that he is Harry Styles. It’s already an icon. We talked about it, and he really wanted to slip into the costume to explore this character. He has a great mind, I have nothing but compliments for Harry Styles. The thing about Austin, and he can tell you this himself, is that I didn’t choose him. It’s as if he had drowned in this role, as if he had been created to play Elvis. I can talk about it now: he lost his mother at the same age as Elvis, he sent me a video at the time of the casting and… he became Elvis for two years, he lived Elvis, he breathed in Elvis . He was like deprogrammed, all this time he didn’t know who he was.”

Austin Butler has indeed recorded an acoustic cover of“Unchained Melody”, one of the famous pieces of Elvis Presley to try to get the role. His performance visibly marked the filmmaker, who hired him in stride, then they collaborated during a long shoot, which suffered, like so many others, from postponements because of the Covid-19 epidemic. When filming stopped, Butler was hospitalized, exhausted from the experience. “The day after filming ended, I woke up with terrible pain in my stomach and was rushed to the emergency room, he was telling QG when the film premiered at Cannes. My body started falling apart as soon as I wrapped filming Elvis.”

Since then, the actor has been in great shape and was touched by the warm reception of the film on the Croisette. Elvis was allowed 12 minutes of “standing ovation” and Austin Butler’s performance was hailed by the singer’s daughter “Love Me Tender”Lisa Mary Presley. Elvis will be released in theaters on June 22. Here is its trailer:

Cannes 2022 – Elvis: a flamboyant fresco that explodes the codes of the biopic

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