When iconic director Baz Luhrmann (Romeo & Juliet, Moulin Rouge) set out to make a biopic about Elvis Presley, he surprisingly found his King in former Nickelodeon and Disney star Austin Butler. The young actor snatched the coveted role in Elvis, which will finally make its way into theaters next month after the production was notably delayed when co-star Tom Hanks became one of the first major celebrities to test positive for COVID at the start of the pandemic.
However, as Austin reveals in a new interview, Hanks wasn’t the only one to experience a health scare. After thoroughly immersing him in the role, Austin was hospitalized the day after he wrapped filming. According to the actor, his body completely revolted. Via GQ UK:
“The next day I woke up at four in the morning with excruciating pain, and I was rushed to hospital,” Butler says. He was diagnosed with a virus that simulates appendicitis and spent a week bedridden.
“My body just started shutting down the day after I finished Elvis.”
When the Australia production shut down after Hanks and wife Rita Wilson tested positive for COVID, Luhrmann and the production team were prepared to send Butler home to Los Angeles. Instead, the actor chose to stay and holed up in his apartment, which he essentially wallpapered with photos of Elvis.
“Just images of Elvis everywhere, from every time period,” Butler said. “I think the film would have been very different if we had started shooting at that point, and I’m grateful I had the time to let myself marinate.”
Obviously, Butler’s immune system felt differently about being that immersed in all things Elvis for that long, but he appears to be in good spirits after the ordeal.
Elvis shakes its hips into theaters on June 24.
(Via GQ UK)