Austin Butler Says He Would Microwave Ice Cream and Drink It to Put on Weight for 'Elvis' Film

The 31-year-old actor detailed how his eating habits changed ahead of Elvis, the film for which he was nominated for an Oscar

Austin Butler arrives at the 80th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 10, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California.
Austin Butler. Photo: Todd Williamson/NBC/NBC via Getty

Austin Butler made sure his portrayal of Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann's Elvis was accurate.

In a clip previewing this week's episode of the Variety Awards Circuit podcast, the Oscar-nominated actor detailed the extent he went to for the role.

Since the biographical film follows the legendary music icon's rise to fame through different eras of his career, Butler, 31, revealed he needed to gain weight to play the older version of Presley in the film.

"I heard that Ryan Gosling, when he was going to do The Lovely Bones, had microwaved Häagen-Dazs and would drink it. So I started doing that," he explained.

While he revealed that he wore a body suit to portray Presley during the scenes in the film, he added that he did everything he could possibly do to prepare for those moments.

"I would go get two dozen doughnuts and eat them all. I really started to pack on some pounds. It's fun for a week or so, and then you feel awful with yourself," he continued. "But we were planning on shooting chronologically in the beginning. That quickly went out the window, then especially with COVID. It was just impossible."

As the movie's filming and release date faced multiple COVID pandemic-related delays, he explained during a press conference at the Cannes Film Festival in May that he put his "life on pause for two years" to absorb "everything" about Presley.

"I just went down the rabbit hole of obsession. And I broke down his life into periods of time where I could hear the differences in how his voice changed over the years and how his movement changed over the years and I spent two years studying, trying to find his humanity as best as I could through that," he added.

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Appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in January, he added that the experience was daunting. "And I really just was guided by my terror," he said.

During the appearance, he revealed that he had compilations of Presley's voice that he would "listen to every day — his laugh, different songs" for "hours."

"And then once I was allowed to leave the apartment, I would usually wake up every day around 3 or 4 in the morning with this terror," Butler admitted to Jimmy Kimmel.

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