Austin Butler looked to Ryan Gosling for his physical transformation into Elvis Presley.
The “Elvis” Best Actor nominee revealed that he took note of Gosling’s prep for 2009 thriller “The Lovely Bones” and drank microwaved ice cream to embody an older, aging Presley.
“I heard that when Ryan Gosling was going to do ‘The Lovely Bones,’ had microwaved Häagen-Dazs and would drink it. So I started doing that,” Butler told Variety. “I would go get two dozen doughnuts and eat them all. I really started to pack on some pounds.”
He added, “It’s fun for a week, [but then] you feel awful about yourself.”
While Butler’s weight gain for the role help land him an Oscar nomination, Gosling’s decision to put on 60 pounds ahead of “The Lovely Bones” ended up in his firing from the film. Gosling was replaced by Mark Wahlberg.
“We had a different idea of how the character should look,” Gosling told The Hollywood Reporter in 2010. “I really believed he should be 210 pounds.”
However, director Jackson disagreed, and Gosling was let go days before production began.
“We didn’t talk very much during the preproduction process, which was the problem,” Gosling added. “It was a huge movie, and there’s so many things to deal with, and he couldn’t deal with the actors individually. I just showed up on set, and I had gotten it wrong. Then I was fat and unemployed.”
Butler’s turn proved to be the opposite: After packing on “some pounds” as Presley, Butler began intense workouts with a Navy Seal trainer for “Dune: Part Two.”
“For ‘Dune,’ there were different challenges; there were certain physical things from the first meeting with [director] Denis [Villeneuve], [knowing] what his vision was,” Butler said to Backstage. “I worked with this…Navy Seal who trained me for months beforehand just to get my body into a place where it was available to not only be an imposing physical presence but do whatever was asked of me.”
Butler continued, “The interesting thing was doing that in the middle of ‘Elvis’ press. I was doing that until Cannes, and then I was having to do all the press during the day and then train at night. That was a thing I had to manage during ‘Elvis.’ I could completely eliminate everything in the outside world, and now I had to learn how to do that in the midst of balancing other things, but it’s still all that all-encompassing energy. I love living in these other worlds… I just let it consume me.”
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