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Elvis star Austin Butler on his feelings of imposter syndrome before playing the king of rock ‘n’ roll

The star of Baz Luhrmann’s loud and colourful biopic describes how he tried to avoid caricature and why he used a typewriter to communicate with co-star Tom Hanks during filming

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Austin Butler as Elvis: ‘I spent the day in Graceland by myself, just absorbing the way it feels in there’

Austin Butler as Elvis: ‘I spent the day in Graceland by myself, just absorbing the way it feels in there’

Tom Hanks as Colonel Tom Parker in Elvis

Tom Hanks as Colonel Tom Parker in Elvis

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Austin Butler as Elvis: ‘I spent the day in Graceland by myself, just absorbing the way it feels in there’

About a quarter of an hour into Baz Luhrmann’s bright and brash biopic Elvis, unscrupulous promoter Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks) is discussing the finer points of soft country with his leading musical acts when he hears a strange but compelling noise coming from a phonograph.

It’s Elvis Presley, singing the opening bars of That’s Alright Mama, a sound that will shortly change the world. And the way we hear that voice, rising rhythmically from a sea of tired and sentimental folk music, gives one a sense of just how strange and unsettling Elvis must have sounded at the time.


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