There are two things we’ve heard in abundance when it comes to Baz Luhrmann’s forthcoming biopic Elvis. One, Austin Butler intensely dedicated himself to the role, and two, singer Harry Styles also auditioned for the part. Now, Luhrmann has given a little more insight into why Butler edged out Styles as the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
“Harry is a really talented actor,” Luhrmann tells Sydney’s Nova FM, as reported Billboard. “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,” the director continues. “He’s such a great spirit and I have nothing but great things to say about Harry Styles.”
Ultimately, Luhrmann says it wasn’t he who chose Butler as the film’s lead, but fate itself.
“The thing about Aust 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 says.
“You know, we can talk about it now, he like loses his mom at the same age that Elvis did,” Luhrmann says. “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.”
It’s not like Styles is out cold on the streets begging for work. He currently takes up a lot of space on the pop charts with the release of his third album Harry’s House, and will soon appear in Olivia Wilde’s Don’t Worry Darling opposite Florence Pugh. Down the road, he’s set star in the gay drama My Policeman, with Emma Corrin and David Dawson.
Luhrmann’s Elvis premieres in theaters on June 24.