Austin Butler might be the world’s best method actor, or perhaps he is Elvis reincarnated, but that’s between him and whatever God he believes in. But what we do know is that this man dedicated nearly three years of his life to studying Elvis and his mannerisms, and he is still not done talking about it, which is impressive in its own right. As the lines between where Butler ends and Elvis begins starts to blur, he has given us another fun tidbit about transforming into the later-in-life Elvis toward the end of the movie, AKA when Elvis gets a little bigger.
Butler told Variety that in order to prep for the ever-encompassing role, his agent told him he would need to gain quite a bit of weight to portray Elvis in his later years. While some actors have intricate regimens when it comes to their diets, Butler decided to go to the Ryan Gosling school of putting on pounds.
“I heard that Ryan Gosling when he was going to do The Lovely Bones, had microwaved Häagen-Dazs and would drink it,” the actor explained. “So I started doing that. I would go get two dozen doughnuts and eat them all. I really started to pack on some pounds,” Butler said. Perhaps he could not track down a 2004 case of the limited edition EDYS Elvis ice cream titled “Love Me Tender.” But you’d think that they would have made some sort of brand deal here.
If you are unfamiliar with the infamous “Ryan Gosling Gained 60 Pounds For A Role” story, here’s the short version: Ryan Gosling put on a hefty amount of weight despite never being asked to, and was subsequently fired by Peter Jackson from The Lovely Bones. “I was fat and unemployed,” Gosling said at the time after he had gotten up to 210 pounds. Luckily, Butler wasn’t fired since he was doing what he was asked (Gosling’s career turned out okay anyway).
Butler said that the novelty wore off quickly. “It’s fun for a week, and then you feel awful about yourself. But we were planning on shooting chronologically in the beginning. That quickly went out the window with COVID. It was just impossible.” Next up, Butler will appear in the upcoming Dune sequel where his accent is supposedly nonexistent. At least he didn’t have to add any weight for this one, because the sandworms would love to eat him just how he is, Elvis or not. Probably because they don’t have eyes.