Austin Butler ate ‘awful’ amount of food to play Elvis Presley | Films | Entertainment

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Elvis Presley’s life story was told in biopic form last year in the Baz Luhrmann picture Elvis. Austin Butler played the King of Rock and Roll, and showed off just how talented and misunderstood the incredible performer was – but the star had some low moments. During Elvis’ final years alive, in the late 1970s, he put on a lot of weight and became reliant on prescription drugs. To portray this, Austin put on a massive amount of weight.

Austin threw himself into the role of Elvis for the movie. On top of learning how to sing and dance, he also took on the star’s distinctive accent – something he still can’t get rid of to this day. But it was the weight gain that left him feeling dreadful. Speaking in a new interview, he recalled how he decided to pack on the pounds for the movie’s final scenes.

He told Variety: “I heard that when Ryan Gosling was going to do [the 2009 movie] The Lovely Bones, had microwaved Häagen-Dazs [ice cream] and would drink it.”

Incidentally, Gosling gained too much weight for the role (reportedly more than 60lbs) and he was subsequently fired from The Lovely Bones by its director, Peter Jackson (of Lord of the Rings fame). Gosling was replaced by Mark Wahlberg.

“So I started doing that,” Austin continued, before adding that he would buy a massive amount of donuts to gorge himself on, as well.

“One day we’d be in 1974,” the 31-year-old actor said. “And the next day we’d be in 1956. So you got to be able to switch back and forth, vocally and physically.”

Austin received some criticism after the film was released, as he continued to speak with Elvis’ intonation and accent on red carpets and at social events. Fans became concerned that he may not have been able to break out of sounding like The King.

He recently confirmed: “I am getting rid of the accent, but I have probably damaged my vocal cords with all that singing.”

A large part of the struggle for Austin was learning to sing like the star. He told Graham Norton that one song in particular “took 40 takes”, leaving his vocal cords feeling delicate.

What’s more, Austin was shooting Elvis with Baz for years. As a result, he became lonely and cut off from the rest of his family.

Austin said: “During Elvis, I didn’t see my family for about three years. I was off in New York prepping with Baz and then I went to Australia. I had months where I wouldn’t talk to anybody – and when I did, the only thing I was ever thinking about was Elvis.”

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