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Harry Styles Didn’t Get The Elvis Presley Biopic Role Because ‘He’s Harry Styles,’ Baz Luhrmann Explains

For a while, it looked like Harry Styles might be cast to play Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis biopic, as he was rumored to be in serious contention for the role that ultimately went to Austin Butler. Now, we know part of the reason why Styles didn’t get the role: He’s Harry Styles.

In a recent interview with Fitzy & Wippa (as Billboard notes), Luhrmann said of Styles, “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. 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.”

He added of Butler, “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. You know, we can talk about it now, he like loses his mom at the same age that Elvis did. He sends a video to me with this thing and… He just happened like two years non-stop living and breathing as Elvis. He’s now going through a sort of, it’s like, deprogramming thing because he’s been a long time since he’s known who he was.”