It’s not every day an actor misses out on a role because he’s “already an icon” — but that’s exactly what happened for Harry Styles.
The “As It Was” hitmaker was eager to slip into legendary crooner Elvis Presley’s blue suede shoes for Baz Luhrmann’s biopic, but unfortunately for him, the role eventually went to Austin Butler.
While it’s undoubtedly heartbreaking for Styles’ fans seeing someone else land the lead role of a film that received a 12-minute standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival, Luhrmann revealed it’s actually because he is already somewhat of an icon himself.
“Harry is a really talented actor,” Luhrmann said on the “Fitzy & Wippa” podcast on Monday. “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,” he added.
The filmmaker also revealed he doesn’t cast through auditions. Instead, he hosts “rich workshops,” adding that Butler was simply “born to play” the King of Rock-‘n’-Roll.
“The real issue with Harry is, he’s Harry Styles. He’s already an icon.”
“You know, we can talk about it now, he like loses his mom at the same age that Elvis did,” Luhrmann said of Butler.
Prior to landing the lead role in “Elvis,” Butler’s film credits include “Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood,” “Dune: Part II,” and “The Dead Don’t Die.”
Butler admitted he shut himself off from the rest of the world in a desperate bid to surrender himself to the role.
“I basically put the rest of my life on pause for two years,” Butler said at the film festival last month. “I just absorbed everything that I possibly could.”
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