Austin Butler recalls ‘daunting’ experience of filming ‘Elvis’ during COVID lockdown
Austin Butler shared he stayed in Australia after COVID-19 production halted Elvis.
The Golden Globe-nominated star revealed he spent the entire COVID-19 lockdown period preparing for his critically acclaimed performance.
Austin, 31, the Jimmy Kimmel Live Monday recalled his Elvis co-star Tom Hanks tested positive for coronavirus in March 2020.
“We were, I think, three days before we started filming. And so I had been preparing for a year and a half,” Austin said.
“We didn’t know what it was. We asked these scientists to come and tell us what they thought it was. So we were all worried about him first and [Tom’s wife] Rita. And then once we knew they were okay, the studio called force majeure on the film, which basically means they don’t have to pay anyone. The movie is over,” he said.
Austin shared director Baz Luhrmann told him he would have to return to the United States during the lockdown. “But I knew I had been so focused for so long that I knew I would lose it if I came back here. Because, you know, real life starts pouring in and you lose your focus. So I stayed,” he admitted.
Austin shared that during quarantine he “wallpapered” his entire apartment with images of Elvis from different time periods.
“I had these compilations of his voice that I listened to every day, his laughter, different songs,” he said.
Austin said, “Once I was cleared out of the apartment, you know, I would usually wake up every day around 3 or 4 a.m. with this terror. It was so intimidating. And I was really guided by my terror really.
Austin received his first Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture Drama category.