Austin Butler Reveals Weird Food He Ate to Gain Weight for 'Elvis'

Austin Butler had to go to extreme lengths as he tried to make sure his portrayal of Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann's Elvis was as spot-on as possible. In a preview of this week's Variety Awards Circuit podcast episode, the Oscar-nominated actor shared just how dedicated he was to gaining weight in order to play an older version of Presley in the biopic.

"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. Butler would eventually go on to wear a body suit to make him look like he had gained weight while filming the scenes of Presley's later life due to the order in which they filmed the movie, but not until Butler had already given his all. "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."

Butler previously discussed filming Elvis amid numerous COVID-related delays during a press conference at the Cannes Film Festival in May, saying that he put his life "on pause" for two years to learn everything he could about Presley. "I just went down the rabbit hole of obsession," he said at the time. "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."

And while Butler's lingering Tennessee accent is finally fading, it is leaving a mark on the actor. "I am getting rid of the accent, but I have probably damaged my vocal cords with all that singing," Butler said on The Graham Norton Show. "One song took 40 takes." He added of being nominated for Best Actor at the Academy Awards, "It has been a whirlwind, and it's amazing because when you are making a film you never really know how it will be received. With this one there were so many ways it could go wrong so to be received in the way it has means the world to me."