Don’t cry daddy.
Austin Butler revealed that “Elvis” director Baz Luhrmann and other film executives made him cry during their first trip to RCA Studio B in Nashville, Tenn.
In order to get “as close to performing as possible,” the 30-year-old told VMAN magazine that Luhrmann brought all the executives “into the recording studio and he goes, ‘I want you all to sit facing Austin,’… and he told them to heckle me. So then they were making fun of me and stuff while I was singing.”
Butler justified the director’s decision, saying there was a method to the madness when it came time to film the blockbuster movie.
“When we were filming this moment, when Elvis first goes on stage and he’s getting heckled by the audience, I knew what that felt like,” he said, before adding “I went home in tears that night. I really did.”
The seemingly scarring day was the opposite of what Butler was told the “laid back, playful” recording session would be like.
“I was so nervous, and we were recording on actual equipment that Elvis recorded ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ on,” he told the magazine. “We got down there and it was not that at all. We were recording old school, where all the musicians—and these are the best musicians in the world; our guitar player had actually played guitar with Scotty Moore, who was Elvis’s guitar player—we were recording the entire song.”
However, Luhrmann’s antics weren’t new to the actor who spent five months auditioning for the coveted role. Last month, the “Carrie Diaries” alum told Kelly Clarkson that the director “changed everything” he had prepared for his screen test without warning.
“He started filming while I [was] learning everything,” the actor said on “The Kelly Clarkson Show.” “He put me through the wringer. I realize now he likes to be very spontaneous on set, so he wanted to see if I would lose my mind.”
While Luhrmann’s spontaneity didn’t make Butler lose his mind, being isolated for nearly six months in Australia during the pandemic brought him close to it.
In March 2020, the actor chose to stay Down Under while the rest of the crew flew back home to the United States so he wouldn’t “lose momentum.” The “Zoey 101” star proved he was dedicated to the role as the King of Rock and Roll — even if it came at a price.
“I didn’t have a hug for three months at one point,” he told VMAN, adding that to fill his time he “wallpapered the entire apartment with images and a timeline of Elvis’s life.”
“I’m extremely grateful I had the film and the, for lack of a better word, obsession with Elvis to occupy my days,” Butler told the magazine. “It gave me the feeling that there was a reason to get up every morning.”