Austin Butler stated that this Elvis Presley performance always brings him to tears.
Among the actors in the industry, Butler eventually landed the role of Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann’s musical drama film “Elvis.” He did justice to the late King of Rock and Roll’s visuals and songs in the film.
In a new interview with the Los Angeles Times (via Express), he discussed the one performance that always makes him cry.
The actor always watched Presley videos on YouTube while preparing for the role. He eventually came across a video of the late rocker performing “Unchained Melody.” Alex North and Hy Zaret wrote the song in 1955.
Presley can be heard speaking to his fans before continuing his performance in the video in question. Despite looking out of breath due to his health problems, he could sing the high note and smile at his audience.
Butler reportedly tears up every time he sees that smile. His emotions were heightened when he dreamed that his mother was dying again. To relax, he sat down at a piano and recorded himself singing “Unchained Melody” to his mother.
“I just thought there’s got to be a way to channel this feeling. And I was obsessing so much about Elvis that it became this other thing of going, ‘OK. He felt grief. How did he deal with it?’ Well, he would sing. He would pour out his soul into song.”
A few weeks later, Luhrmann called and offered him the role of Elvis Presley.
Butler discussed “Elvis” again, this time about how Presley made him reflect on his own life and change his priorities.
He told Deadline that playing the singer changed his relationship with fear. Butler noted that, despite being shy and suffering from stage fright, Presley was able to change the world through his music.
That gave the actor the opportunity to learn more about himself and prioritize what needed to be prioritized.
Butler said that after playing the role, he felt like Presley was protecting him from dangers by inspiring him even decades after his death.