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Here’s why Baz Luhrmann didn’t cast Harry Styles to play Elvis

Harry Styles robbed at knifepoint in London
Singer Harry Styles could have played the role of Elvis. Pic credit: ©imagecollect/StarMaxWorldwide

From Maggie Gyllenhaal and Austin Butler to Tom Hanks, the new Elvis biopic is filled with a star-studded cast.

But you may be surprised to hear that a former One Direction star could have played the role of Elvis instead of Austin Butler, 30.

Harry Styles wasn’t chosen to play Elvis because of his star status

Speaking on the Fitzy & Wippa podcast, Baz Luhrmann, 59, revealed that Harry Styles wasn’t picked for the iconic role due to his star status.

The director and producer said: “Harry is a really talented actor. 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. He’s such a great spirit, and I have nothing but great things to say about Harry Styles.”

Luhrmann has directed many movie classics, including William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet, The Great Gatsby, and Moulin Rouge.

While Harry would have done a great job playing Elvis, the role was given to the right person.

How Austin Butler auditioned for Elvis role

Opening up about how he approached his audition, Austin said in an interview with The Project: “I didn’t even think about it, really. I was trying to find my way into how I would want to approach the character.

“I had filmed something a couple days prior, I filmed myself singing Love Me Tender, and I watched it back, and I couldn’t send it because I just saw an impersonation. It was all the external things.”

He continued: “So, for me, I ended up singing Unchained Melody in this bathrobe because I had just woken up.

“So my hair was a mess, and I sat down at the piano, and there was something that was pivotal in that moment for me as far as how I would want to approach it because what fascinated me was all the moments that we didn’t see of Elvis.

“The moment when he just woke up. The moment when he was experiencing stuff that he didn’t get to experience in front of a camera. So, that became the bedrock on which I built the rest of the experience.”

Austin also spoke about the pressures that came with playing the role of an iconic legend.

“The pressure is so intense,” He said. “I woke up every day around 3 or 4 in the morning with my heart pounding for two years. I’m running on a few hours of sleep right now, but this was kind of me for two years.”

“You just feel the weight of it every day, and you just want to do him justice, and you want to do his family justice.”

The Elvis biopic debuts in cinemas on June 24.

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