Earlier this year, Austin Butler was praised for his performance as Elvis Presley in the biopic directed by Baz Luhrmann, Elvis. The film told the life story of the King of Rock and Roll, and to get his version of The King Righteous, Austin explored every part of Elvis’s story he could get his hands on. One particular story sent his imagination wild.
Austin recently talked about dissecting some of Elvis’ songs to really get to know him. One such track was Trouble, a 1958 blues track originally written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.
It was a particularly turbulent time for Elvis as he recorded and performed the song just before being sent to the United States Army. While enlisted, he received the terrible news that his mother had died. It was a turning point in the star’s life as he was extremely close to his mother and fell into a powerful state of grief. After the funeral, he reportedly locked himself upstairs and cried in grief for hours.
Austin described Elvis’ rendition of Trouble as “spirited, exciting and animalistic”. He was particularly inspired by the stories of Elvis really going wild while performing the track.
Austin said, “There are stories of him spitting on the stage, rolling over it, and completely giving what looks like a punk-rock show.”
Austin pointed out: “What I loved is that you can read a lot of stories about Elvis performing on stage in such a short time before he joined the army and his mother died. dies, where he is at the height of his primal and animal power.”
At this specific time, there were countless photos of “animal” Elvis on stage, but not much video footage. The only footage of him performing came from TV shows – but that was a special case. Elvis’ performances on TV shows – such as The Ed Sullivan Show – were extremely docile, as his spinning dance moves were considered “vulgar”.
Austin said: “He didn’t push as far as he would [performing] Direct.”
Because of this, when Austin portrayed Elvis singing Trouble in the 2022 film, he amped up his performance.
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Austin said: “So it was fun to play Trouble and be at that pivotal moment in the story, with real emotional significance behind it. It’s a moment where he rebels and stays true to his own integrity. artistic and moral.
Elvis also sang Trouble on his 1968 Comeback Special, and Austin also used this video footage of the star as inspiration.
He said: “[The special] became an influence for the way I played it in the 1950s [scenes] because he has more guts and makes a grunt that has become very influential to me.”
Elvis’ daughter, Lisa Marie Presleysaid Austin deserved a Oscar nomination for his portrayal of his father. However, there is another movie version of Elvis Presley coming to the big screen next year.
Another version of Elvis’ life story is being adapted for the big screen, but this time it will focus on Priscilla Presley, the king’s ex-wife. The source material is from his 1985 memoir, Elvis and Me. In the film, which will be directed by Sofia Coppola, Elvis will be played by Jacob Elordi.
She said, “Yeah, you know, he’s a great actor, a great actor. I can only imagine him being a nervous wreck. Like everyone else!”
The 77-year-old also praised Sofia, saying, “I love Sofia and I love her film work. I really think…I think everything will be fine. I hope so!”
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