The return of the king. Elvis Presley is back in the spotlight thanks to the new movie starring Austin Butler, and many of the actors underwent serious transformations for their roles.
The Yoga Hosers star, 30, worked with vocal coaches all over the world to ensure that his singing voice sounded as much like the rock legend’s as possible. “I sang every day [while preparing and filming] and would do my singing exercises first thing in the morning,” the Shannara Chronicles alum told Entertainment Weekly in June. “[The voice] is really like a muscle. Through filming, I started noticing notes that I couldn’t hit in the beginning, suddenly, now I could hit those notes.”
When the “Jailhouse Rock” crooner is singing in the early parts of Elvis, that’s really Butler’s voice doing the work. (In later scenes, the filmmakers blended recordings of the real Presley with new tracks by the California native.)
All that work seemingly paid off, because the late rocker’s family has said they approve of his performance. “I’ve seen Baz Luhrmann‘s movie Elvis twice now,” Lisa Marie Presley tweeted in May. “Let me tell you that it is nothing short of spectacular. Absolutely exquisite. Austin Butler channeled and embodied my father’s heart & soul beautifully.”
The Mississippi native, who died in 1977 at age 42, shared Lisa Marie, 54, with ex-wife Priscilla Presley. Elvis and the Dallas alum, 77, were married from 1967 to 1973. In the movie, she is played by Olivia DeJonge, who didn’t meet her until after filming was over. Instead, the 24-year-old read Priscilla’s book to prepare for the role.
“She was just a really, really beautifully caring girl,” the Better Watch Out star told Vogue Australia in June, noting that she wanted to make sure her portrayal didn’t veer into “stereotype” territory. “And I think I wanted to make sure I touched on that energy of femininity, and importantly, groundedness.”
After the actress finally met Priscilla, she was reassured to know that the New York native approved of her performance. “I’m so happy that she was sensitive and that she was caring and that she was a little strong with him as well,” Priscilla told Good Morning America in June. “I thought she did a really, really nice job. I was pleasantly surprised.”
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Elvis is in theaters now. Keep scrolling to see how the Elvis cast compare to their real-life counterparts.