Elvis Presley 'would have loved' new biopic film says Tom Jones
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Austin Butler played Elvis Presley in the biopic, Elvis, from Baz Luhrmann. The movie hit cinemas over the summer and wowed fans of the King, but it wasn’t always easy for the American actor to play Elvis. While he felt deeply connected to the singer, he admitted he was not always up to the same standards as the incredible singer.
The biopic did not just show off how famous and eccentric Elvis became in his later years, but it also demonstrated how talented the Mississippi local was when he was just a teenager.
During the filming of these earlier scenes, Austin sang the Elvis songs himself and worked hard with an intense amount of vocal training to bring his own flair and style to such iconic songs as Heartbreak Hotel and Jailhouse Rock.
However, in a new interview, Austin recalled that one song, Never Been To Spain, defeated him when he couldn’t sing it properly.
“I love to turn it on super-loud in the car and drive,” he confessed of the song that “fired him up”, before revealing that he simply did not have the power to sing the track just as the King did back in the 1960s.
Austin admitted: “Singing Never Been to Spain once on set, my voice went out. I lost the mid-range of my voice for a couple of days.”
He added: “Thankfully, it was on a Friday so we could take the weekend off, so I went on vocal rest and didn’t speak for two days to let the vocal cords rest. It’s a tough sing!”
Austin confessed that he would listen to two Elvis songs every day on the way to work. One of them was Never Been To Spain, and the other was Polk Salad Annie.
He continued: “There’s a live performance of Polk Salad Annie he does in [the 1970 documentary] Elvis: That’s the Way It Is, which is great because you get to see how dynamic his energy is and how he uses humour in the music.” (Via NME)
Austin Butler recalls preparing for Elvis biopic
The infectiously sultry track has the star crooning about Spanish women with the lyrics: “Well I’ve never been to Spain / But I kinda like the music / Say the ladies are insane there / And they sure know how to use it / They don’t abuse it / Never gonna lose it / I can’t refuse it.”
Elvis’ original recording of Never Been To Spain holds a special weight in the King’s career, as well, as it was also the only Elvis song to ever directly reference The Beatles.
He followed up the first verse by singing: “Well, I’ve never been to England / But I kind of like the Beatles / So I headed for Las Vegas / Only made it out to Needles / Can you feel it / Must be weary / Oh so good… oh feel so good.”
Austin’s love for Elvis’ music was palpable in the final version of the movie. But Baz has also publicly backed the actor up in just how much work he put in to perfect his mimicry of the King’s singing performances.
Last month, Baz posted a video of Butler singing Elvis’ song Trouble on his Instagram account. The clip came from before filming for Elvis really began, and acted as an example of his skills and how he embodied the King on the big screen.
Baz wrote a lengthy caption to point out what was really happening behind the scenes during the singing portions of Elvis.
He said: “The response to Austin’s version of ‘Trouble’ has been tremendous but so many of you still ask: ‘Is it Austin singing?’ I feel I haven’t been clear enough in conveying that Austin sings all of the young Elvis in the movie, so forgive me.”
Baz added: “I thought you might find this very early camera (2019) test fascinating as Austin and the guys are just jamming while we test our lenses. Even before his two years of vocal studies, I feel that Austin is channeling the vocal qualities of Elvis.” (sic)
He finished praising his actor by adding: “Thank you @austinbutler for letting me share this early test to give the fans an insight into your journey.”
Elvis is available on Digital Download now.
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