Austin has a new interview with TheWrap! You can read it below! I have added scans from the magazine to the gallery and you can also see a few portraits taken during the Palm Springs International Film Festival!
Photoshoots > 2023 > Session 20 | Palm Springs International Film Festival – TheWrap
In many ways, the central song in Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis” is “Suspicious Minds,” the thrilling 1969 single that was Elvis Presley’s first No. 1 record in seven years. The key lines of that song, which Luhrmann uses as something of a leitmotif in the final stretches of the film, are “We’re caught in a trap, we can’t get out,” which are partly a declaration of the singer’s love but also a cry of despair from a man whose fame has put him on a pathway to excess and premature death.
And nine months after the film premiered at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival and three weeks after it received eight Oscar nominations including Best Picture, “Elvis” star and Best Actor nominee Austin Butler walked into a restaurant at the Beverly Hilton Hotel and immediately found himself in a trap of his (and Luhrmann’s) making. First, he was stopped by a father asking for a photo of Butler with his young son — who is, dad said, a huge fan of the movie. Butler grinned, bent down to greet the kid and posed for a couple of shots. As soon as that was done, he was approached by fans from Ireland, then a couple from London, then some from closer to home. He only needed to traverse about 20 feet to get to the table where we were supposed to be talking, but by the time he got there he’d probably posed for a photo for every one of those 20 feet.
But when the 31-year-old former child actor from Orange County, California slid into the booth, he was sporting a big grin. “I’m feeling very, very good,” Butler said at the end of a long day at the Oscar Nominees Luncheon. He nodded toward the selfie gauntlet he’d just run. “That’s something I’ve been getting in certain places, and I’m trying to get more used to it.”
He shrugged. “These are surreal days.”
THINGS HAVE BEEN HEADING TOWARD SURREAL for Butler since Cannes, when “Elvis” drew largely positive reviews that focused on how a nearly unknown former teen actor nailed the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s moves and even did a creditable job singing his early classics. Suddenly, the guy who’d beaten out a quartet of bigger stars for the role — Ansel Elgort, Harry Styles, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Miles Teller were reportedly the other names on the shortlist — had become a star of his own, a sex symbol and a sure-fire Oscar nominee.
“It’s really been a whirlwind,” Butler said softly. “A rollercoaster. I mean, really high highs…” He trailed off. “And then lows.”
The biggest low does not come as a surprise. “For me, it was losing Lisa Marie,” he said, referring to the death of Elvis’ only child at the age of 54, only three days after she attended the Golden Globes to support the film. “That was unimaginable, so shocking that I didn’t really believe it was true. And it just sort of shifted my perspective about things, you know?
“But also, I look at this film as a way of sort of carrying her legacy and her father’s legacy in a way that she was proud of. And so I feel honored to be a part of her life and for all the moments that I was lucky enough to spend with her.”
Those moments began after a screening of “Elvis” at the singer’s longtime Memphis home, Graceland. “I was walking down this hallway outside the screening room, and she turned around at the end of the hallway and we made eye contact,” he said. “We both teared up just seeing each other, and then she embraced me and said, ‘I want to talk to you privately.’ She took me into another room and we just sat there and talked and talked and talked, and then later that night she took me up to Elvis’ bedroom and we spent more hours together talking.