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Austin Butler reveals Tom Hanks gave him a job after Elvis to prevent ‘emotional whiplash’

Keryn Donnelly

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Austin Butler reveals Tom Hanks gave him a job after Elvis to prevent ‘emotional whiplash’

Featured Image Credit: Warner Bros.

A year after Elvis hit cinemas, Austin Butler is gearing up for two new big releases.

The 31-year-old is starring in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune: Part 2 and the Apple TV+ miniseries Masters of the Air.

Masters of the Air comes from executive producers Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks and is the third installment in their long-running World War II saga that also includes Band of Brothers and The Pacific.

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In an interview with The Sunday Times this week, Butler revealed that Hanks gave him the role after Elvis so he wouldn't get 'emotional whiplash'.

Credit: Universal Pictures.
Credit: Universal Pictures.

Speaking to the publication, Butler said that Hanks told him: “You have immersed yourself so deeply in Elvis that, for your mental health, it would be wise to go straight into something else.

"If you just jump off the train, you might have emotional whiplash.

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“And, you know," Hanks continued. "I’ve got this thing I’m producing.”

Butler told The Sunday Times playing the titular character in Elvis made him 'go to the very edge of what is possible, and not every experience will be like that. I don’t think I’ll ever have an experience like that again, but if I have to really dig, it makes me feel alive'.

The actor spent three years preparing for the role including adopting Elvis' southern drawl, and drinking melted Häagen-Dazs ice cream to gain weight.

When he accepted a Golden Globe award for the role in January, Butler was still speaking with Elvis' distinctive twang.

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"I don't think I sound like him still, but I guess I must because I hear it all the time," he said backstage at the time.

He continued: "I often liken it to when somebody lives in another country for a long time. I had three years where that was my only focus, so I'm sure there's pieces of him in my DNA and I will always be linked to him."

Speaking to GQ last year, the former Nickelodeon star said the day after filming wrapped he was diagnosed with a virus that simulated appendicitis and he ended up in hospital.

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“The next day [after filming wrapped] I woke up at four in the morning with excruciating pain, and I was rushed to the hospital,” he said.

“My body just started shutting down the day after I finished Elvis.”

Butler will play Major Gale Cleven in Masters of the Air, which follows the actions of the 100th Bombardment Group of the United States Army Air Forces during the World War II.

Alongside Butler, the show stars Barry Keoghan, Callum Turner, Anthony Boyle and James Murray. It’s scheduled to be released later this year.

Topics: Celebrity, News, Film and TV, Tom Hanks

Keryn Donnelly
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