Elvis Director Reveals Why Harry Styles Didn’t Get The Role of King of Rock n Roll

Harry Styles, currently making headlines for his latest album Harry’s House has had a decent acting career so far, debuting with Nolan’s Dunkirk (2017) and appearing in the MCU as Eros, brother of Thanos in last year’s Eternals. But, he missed the chance of starring as the legendary icon in Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis. Recently, in the Fitzy & Wippa radio podcast, the Oscar-nominated filmmaker talked about his decision to cast Austin Butler instead.

Harry Styles and Elvis Presley
Two musical icons: Harry Styles and Elvis Presley

Luhrmann, while appreciating Styles’ talent and celebrity status on the Australian podcast said, “Harry is a really talented actor. I would work on something with him [but] the real issue with Harry is, he’s Harry Styles. He’s already an icon.”

It’s ironic how being a musical icon became a roadblock in starring as a musical icon. Anyways, Luhrmann shared, “Harry and I came to a place, genuinely I mean, he was just desperate to put the suit on and explore. He’s such a great spirit and I have nothing but great things to say about Harry Styles.”

Harry Styles at the Met Gala
Being an icon, Harry couldn’t play an icon

Austin Butler has done a phenomenal job playing Elvis

Butler was wildly appreciated for his performance and even got a 12-minute standing ovation at its Cannes Film Festival world premiere. “The thing about Austin was that he will tell you himself, I didn’t pick him: It’s as if he was drawn like the role drew them in because he was almost born to play it,” Luhrmann said. To confirm the deal and set it in stone, Butler had sent the director a tape of him singing a broken down version of the 1965 hit ‘Unchained Melody’. A great strategy on his part, and we know what happened next.

Austin Butler as Elvis
Butler received a 12-minute standing ovation for his performance as Elvis, at the Cannes Film Festival

Elvis has a stellar star cast, apart from Butler, namely Tom Hanks as Tom Parker, with Helen Thomson as Elvis’s mother, Gladys; Richard Roxburgh playing Elvis’s father, Vernon, and Olivia DeJonge playing Priscilla. Other cast members include Luke Bracey who plays Jerry Schilling, Natasha Bassett who plays Dixie Locke, David Wenham who plays Hank Snow, Kelvin Harrison Jr. who plays B.B. King, Xavier Samuel who plays Scotty Moore, and the Academy Award-nominated Kodi Smit-McPhee who plays Jimmie Rodgers Snow.

Harry Styles has got his own thing going

Harry's House album cover
‘Harry’s House’ Holds at No. 1 for Second Week on Billboard 200 Chart

Styles hasn’t been brooding all this while, either. He’s had a successful album release and has starred in the much-awaited Don’t Worry Darling opposite Florence Pughand the upcoming period drama, My Policeman. 

Elvis hits theaters in the US on June 24.

Also Read: Harry Styles Agrees To be Prom Date for Superfan No One Wanted to Go to Prom Night With

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