Baz Luhrmann says Disney’s Austin Butler “doesn’t exist” since he portrayed Elvis.
The 30-year-old actor plays the late king of rock ‘n’ roll in the Elvis biopic, and after almost three years on the blockbuster, Austin in particular still possesses the deep southern accent he used to portray the musical icon.
And the director explained that it’s because the former Hannah Montana actor has “merged” with the Heartbreak Hotel hitmaker and needs to find another “totally absorbing” character so he can “recalibrate.”
Baz, 59, told The Wrap: “Austin and Elvis lost their mother at the same age, so it’s kind of a spiritual connection. I think Austin merged with Elvis.
That’s why he humanized him so. Why do people, very important people that I know who watch the movie, who don’t interact with Elvis at all, who don’t care, say, “I felt like I met someone I never knew.”
“Now look, you, too, cannot work on lowering your voice, tone, for two, almost three years. It sticks to you. and I said, “Hi, my name is Baz Luhrmann, I’m the director of the Strict Ballroom.”
Like that’s what I said then. I mean, three years is almost as long as you spent in high school. So yes, he does have a voice. I think he will have to play some other role that is just as completely absorbing in order to recalibrate. But I mean the Austin Butler who was in the Disney show doesn’t exist anymore. He’s been through so much in his life.”