When the Carrie Diaries alum, 30, finished the movie in March 2021, he immediately had to deal with a health scare. “The next day I woke up at 4 in the morning with excruciating pain, and I was rushed to the hospital,” the California native recalled in an interview with GQ published on Wednesday, May 25.
“My body just started shutting down the day after I finished Elvis,” Butler added, noting that he was diagnosed with a virus that simulates appendicitis. He recovered after spending one week bedridden.
The Once Upon a Time in Hollywood actor’s health wasn’t the only thing that changed after he portrayed Elvis Presley in the biopic, which hits theaters on June 24. “My family said I didn’t sound like me anymore,” he told the outlet.
Butler landed the titular role in July 2019, more than five years after director Baz Luhrmann began developing the project. The late rock icon’s family members have praised the actor’s performance after seeing early screenings of the film.
“It is a true story told brilliantly and creatively that only Baz, in his unique artistic way, could have delivered,” Priscilla Presley, who was married to the “Jailhouse Rock” singer from 1967 to 1973, wrote via Facebook in April. “Austin Butler, who played Elvis is outstanding. … Bravo to him … he knew he had big shoes to fill.”
The Dallas alum, 77, later said that Lisa Marie Presley, her daughter with the pop legend, also enjoyed the movie.
“I’ve seen Elvis the film, I watched the trailer over a dozen times. But the words I heard from my daughter on how much she loved the film and that [Lisa’s daughter] Riley [Keough] will love it too when she sees it brought tears,” Priscilla wrote via Instagram in May 2022. “I relived every moment in this film. It took me a few days to overcome the emotions as it did with Lisa. Beautifully done Baz, Tom [Hanks], Austin and Olivia [DeJonge].”
Elvis’ granddaughter Keough, 32, said watching the movie was an “emotional experience,” but she was happy that Luhrmann, 59, was the director in charge of the project.
“The first movie I ever watched in the theater and said I wanted to make movies was Moulin Rouge!, I was 12,” the Zola actress told Variety earlier this month. “It was a real honor to know Baz was doing this movie. … It wasn’t like I distrusted Baz in any way, but you’re protective over your family.”