Elvis Star Austin Butler was “humiliated” and in “tears” while recording some of the Elvis Presley‘s greatest hits for the soundtrack of the Baz Luhrmann biopic. The actor stood in the very spot where Presley laid down some of his most iconic tracks. However, Presley’s recording experience at RCA Studio B in Nashville, TN, was vastly different than Butler, who was mocked as he performed.
Elvis recorded over 240 songs at RCA Studio
Presley recorded a vast majority of some of his most iconic tunes at RCA Studio in Nashville, TN.
The King ultimately recorded more than 240 songs at Studio B, including “Are You Lonesome Tonight,” “It’s Now or Never,” “(Now and Then There’s) A Fool Such As I,” and “Marie’s the Name) His Latest Flame.” according to the Studio B website.
In 1977, RCA closed all of its Nashville studios and ceased operations at Studio B.
Subsequently, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum began operating the studio as a historic site, allowing public tours.
Butler used the historic area to record the music for the Elvis biopic.
His experiences were marred by heckling from those in attendance.
Austin Butler was ‘humiliated’ and in ‘tears’ while recording the Elvis Presley’s greatest hits
In an interview with VMAN, Butler shared his initial experience recording some of the Presley’s iconic hits.
“On my first day in the recording studio, Baz wanted me to get as close to performing as possible,” Butler explained.
“He had all the executives and everybody from RCA, who were back in the offices, he brought them into the recording studio. He goes, ‘I want you all to sit facing Austin,’ and he told them to heckle me.
“So then they were making fun of me and stuff while I was singing,” the actor continued.
“When we were filming this moment when Elvis first goes on stage, and he’s getting heckled by the audience, I knew what that felt like,” he shared. “I went home in tears that night. I did.”
Another famous actor warned Austin Butler about Luhrmann’s intensity
Before production began on Elvis, Butler told VMAN that he spoke to Leonardo DiCaprio.
DiCaprio worked with Luhrmann on Romeo + Juliet with Claire Danes.
DiCaprio warned Butler about the director’s intensity.
“I had spoken to Leo before. He said, ‘Baz is gonna push you in ways you didn’t know somebody could,’” Butler recalls. “‘He’s gonna push you off balance and keep you off balance.’”
Butler felt a kinship with how Presley transformed from a shy young man into a larger-than-life star.
“When he was a kid, he would ask everyone to turn around in the room and turn the lights off,” Butler explained. “He didn’t wanna play in front of people.”
For Butler playing Presley “felt like a child wearing his father’s suit.”
However, the actor used that emotion to push forward in his portrayal of the music icon, realizing that “he’s so much bigger than me” allowed for the search for “a real human with flesh and blood.”
Elvis is currently in theaters.