Austin Butler got advice on working with Baz Luhrmann from one of the people who knows the director best: Leonardo DiCaprio.
DiCaprio, who starred in Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet and The Great Gatsby, was sought after by Butler before he became the filmmaker’s newest leading man in Elvis. Butler divulged DiCaprio’s advice to Entertainment Weekly, before seguing into his thoughts on Luhrmann’s frenetic directing style.
“Leo told me, ‘Baz is going to constantly keep you off balance, and it’s going to pull things out of you [that] you never knew you had inside you. That’s exactly the experience that I had. There were days where I just thought, ‘Baz, why don’t we just do what we prepared?’ I realized that he would push me right to the edge of what I was capable of. You capture lightning in a bottle in a way — if you had just done the thing that you had prepared, it may have been more stale.”
DiCaprio’s advice to his Baz-bro paid off. Elvis is certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with a 79 percent Tomatometer and 93 percent audience score. Although the plot has been described as formulaic, Butler has been lauded for his portrayal of the King of Rock and Roll, and Luhrmann for being the King of Jazz-like directing. “In order to play jazz, you have to know music theory . . . ” Butler continued. “That’s how Baz is because he works so hard at preparation. When it comes time to actually film, I’ll have been preparing a scene for a year, and suddenly, the day of, the entire scene changes.”
Check out Butler and Luhrmann’s chaotic but calculated chemistry in Elvis, which is now screening across the world.