Austin Butler says he feels an "incredible responsibility" in playing Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann's upcoming biopic about the music icon.
The Californian actor, who has previously starred in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and The Dead Don’t Die, said when starting out in the film’s eponymous role he felt it would be "impossible" to recreate the persona of the world-famous rock star and his "superhuman status".
Without further ado, it's time to TCB⚡️ so here's the trailer made with TLC❤️— Baz Luhrmann (@bazluhrmann) February 17, 2022
Oh, and ONLY IN THEATERS, June 24.@AustinButler and @TomHanks star in @ElvisMovie... See you at the movies! #ElvisMovie #TCB pic.twitter.com/sdVUXTRZTP
Elvis, which is in cinemas this June, tells the life story of Presley through the lens of his complicated relationship with enigmatic manager Colonel Tom Parker, played by Tom Hanks.
Butler, 30, said he had tried to live Presley’s life "as truthfully as possible" while filming to find the humanity of the character.
"When I began the process of this, I set out to get my voice to sound identical to his - that was my goal," he said.
"If you heard a recording of me and you heard a recording of him you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.
"I feel not only a responsibility to Elvis and his life (but)...his entire family and all the people around the world who love him so dearly," Butler added.
"And I held that for a long time and so what that does is it instils fear, so that got the fire burning within me to work and work and work.
"I had to live the life as truthfully as possible."
Butler, whose previous credits also include the TV series The Shannara Chronicles, likened the process to putting on a father’s suit as a child, with the sleeves and shoes too large to fit.
"They’re huge shoes to fill," he said. "In the beginning I thought 'this is impossible’. How could I feel anything but I’m less than this superhuman individual?
"As time passed I felt I grew into it more."
He added: "It’s such an incredible responsibility. I feel not only a responsibility to Elvis and his life (but)… his entire family and all the people around the world who love him so dearly."
Other names appearing in the film include Richard Roxburgh, Helen Thomson, David Wenham and Dacre Montgomery, with Roxburgh, who worked with Luhrmann on 2001’s Moulin Rouge!, playing Presley’s father, Vernon, while Thomson has been cast as the singer’s mother, Gladys.
Presley, dubbed the King of Rock and Roll, died aged 42 in 1977 following one of the most influential careers in popular music.