Austin Butler in Elvis: Did he sing in Elvis and how much did he get paid? (2023)

Elvis is the hit biopic about the Rock 'n' Roll star that continues to capture audience attention in 2023. But many fans are asking, did Austin Butler in Elvis sing?

Many are wondering where to watch Elvis (opens in new tab) in the UK and US since the film stopped showing in cinemas. Directed by award-winning director Baz Luhrmann of Moulin Rouge and Romeo and Juliet fame, it sees Austin Butler take on the title role of the King of Rock and Roll, before his untimely death in 1977. Naturally audience members are full of questions about the 30-year-old's uncanny embodiment of Presley. Such as did Austin Buter sing and how did he capture his voice? We share all the details you need to know about the star who's been recognised by the BAFTAs in 2023 (opens in new tab).

Many viewers have also been trying to separate fact from fiction in the film, wanting to know more about what really went down between the music legend and his manager. We've delved into the true story of Elvis firing the colonel on stage (opens in new tab) and what happened to Sanders after the king's untimely death.

Did Austin Butler sing in the Elvis film?

Yes, Austin Butler did sing in Elvis. However, for certain parts, the real Elvis' voice was also blended in. The 31-year-old watched multiple videos of Elvis performing, studying footage of films and concerts to perfect the legendary singer’s voice.

Austin said: "When I began the process, I set out to get my voice to be identical. That instils fear. So that got the fire burning. For a year before we started shooting, I was doing voice coaching.

"I feel such a responsibility to Elvis and to [ex-wife]Priscillaand [daughter]Lisa Marie, and all the people around the world who love him so much.”

Austin added toUSA Today (opens in new tab): "All the '50s stuff, that's me. After that, it's a mix of me and Elvis."

In an interview with EW (opens in new tab), Austin said: "I created my own archive of how he said every word and every diphthong, and the way that he used musicality in his voice.

"I scoured all of them. I looked at every YouTube video I could find and every film that I could watch, and I started making my own [sound catalog]. I broke it into time periods because his voice changed quite a lot over the course of his life."

(Video) Austin Butler Shows Off His Elvis Impressions and Teaches Jimmy an Iconic Dance Move (Extended)

According to the publication, the Las Vegas residency years - which took up a large part of Elvis's final act - saw director Baz Lurhmann use a mix of Austin's voice and real-life performances from Elvis Presley to create the final sound.

Austin Butler singing Suspicious Minds

Austin Butler's performance of Suspicious Minds is one of the most significant scenes in the movie, with Austin nailing it as an almost identical performance to Elvis'.

In this song, a mix of Austin and Elvis' voices were used, and speaking about the performance, Austin admitted: "On Suspicious Minds in particular, I can't tell when my voice ends and his begins."

One fan commented of the scene: "Just for the suspicious minds scene Austin Butler deserves an oscar nom. He had me completely at this part. He really went off."

How did Austin Butler get the role of Elvis?

Austin Butler stood out for his peculiar audition video, which featured a clip of himself wearing a bathrobe and delivering a rendition of the song "Unchained Melody."

Director Baz Luhrmann wasn't quite sure what to make of this odd approach, but he was intrigued enough to allow Austin to proceed to the next stages of the grand Elvis casting tournament - and he eventually landed the role.

Casting director Denise Chamian (opens in new tab) said of Austin: “From the very beginning, there was something about Austin to me that was a little reminiscent of Elvis. “

Other actors that were in the mix as finalists for the role included Ansel Elgort, Miles Teller, and Harry Styles. Denise added: “When we got to Austin, I said, 'This is your Elvis,' and Baz just looked at me. It’s a pretty big statement to make.

"Shortly thereafter, I had Austin go on tape and that started the process of Baz meeting with him, doing a workshop in New York and we tested him along with other actors. Until we did the screen tests, I don’t think it was clear to anybody, necessarily, that it was going to be Austin. There were a lot of factors to really consider. He was also pretty much unknown out of that group of guys."

(Video) 'He found me': How Baz Luhrmann chose Austin Butler to play Elvis

Austin even impressed big time actor Denzel Washington, with Baz revealing: “I get a phone call out of the blue from Denzel Washington, who I did not know. Denzel Washington just said, in the most incredibly emotional and direct way, 'Look, I've just been onstage with this young actor. I'm telling you, his work ethic is unlike anything I've ever seen. I've never seen anyone who devotes every single second of their lives to perfecting a role.'"

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And it turns out, Austin was so good that Baz at times found it difficult to tell whether the actor was actively playing the role, or just happened to be an incredibly similar to Elvis naturally.

Elvis Presley's daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, even voiced her approval. "Austin Butler chanelled and embodied my father's heart & soul beautifully," she tweeted after watching the movie twice.

How much did Austin Butler get paid for playing Elvis?

Austin Butler hasn’t publicly revealed how much he was paid for the role, but according to Showbiz Galore (opens in new tab), he earned $700,000 [£581,343] for playing Elvis.

In its June 2022 opening weekend, Elvis quickly reached box office success garnering over $30 million in domestic sales, so Austin is expected to make a hefty chunk from the film if ticket sales continue to increase.

His net worth is currently estimated to be around $4million [£3.3million] according to Celebrity Net Worth.

Meanwhile, Austin’s co-star Tom Hanks is thought to have earnt a whopping $8million [£6.6million] for his role as Elvis’ manager, Colonel Tom Parker.

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A photo posted by on

(Video) Austin Butler's Voice BEFORE Vs AFTER acting in ELVIS Movie

With his incredible likeness to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Austin Butler is related to Elvis Presley, but he is not related to Elvis in any way.

However, Austin has a lot in common with the real Elvis. They are both 6 foot tall and both taught themselves how to play guitar.

Tragically, they both also lost their mums at a young age. Austin revealed: “I’d been watching all these documentaries and learned a couple of days prior that Elvis’s mom had died when he was 23, the same as me.”

And it seems it was written in the stars that Austin should play Elvis. Austin revealed that shortly after starring on Broadway in The Iceman Cometh, he returned home to Los Angeles. He was driving with then-girlfriend Vanessa Hudgens when Presley’s Blue Christmas came on, and he began to sing along.

He said Vanessa told him that someday, he should play Elvis. And he soon learned that Baz Luhrmann was working on a script of Elvis’ life story.

“It felt like the stars were aligning,” Austin admitted. “I just said I’m going to dedicate everything I have to this.”

Repost @BazLuhrmann on Instagram: I recall noting that Austin even captured EP’s foot work in this scene perfectly. Check out the comparison online by the photographer Alfred Wertheimer #tcb #elvismovie #ElvisWeek 11, 2022

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(Video) Vanessa Hudgens Reacts To Austin Butler's Voice Change

How did they make Austin Butler look like Elvis?

Hair and makeup designer Shane Thomas used a combination of Austin's natural hair and wigs to capture Elvis’ signature locks and used prosthetics to subtly change Austin's facial structure to match Elvis’ over the decades by placing them on his cheekbones, chin, and jawline.

For his final scene on screen, Shane and the team incorporated fat prosthetics to match the Elvis’ last performance.

Shane told POPSUGAR: “Baz is incredibly visual and very specific in what he wanted, so our conversations were a lot about not replicating or impersonating anything, but rather to represent and respect.”

A post shared by Baz Luhrmann (@bazluhrmann) (opens in new tab)

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He also joked that director Baz has a thing about hair, adding: “Baz is very hair-obsessed. It has to be perfect, so he gives you the time to make it perfect. One of his famous quotes while we were filming was, 'The hair has spoken, so we can roll the cameras.’”

Austin has admitted that coming out of the Elvis role has been difficult. He said: "It's been a slow process. But you don't quite know what to do with yourself after two years of doing nothing else but trying to get inside the mind of another person."

Video of the Week

(Video) Austin Butler on Intense Elvis Preparation, Singing in the Movie & Working with Tarantino


How much money did Austin Butler make from Elvis? ›

For his role as Elvis Presley, Austin Butler only won $700,000 and his estimated net-worth at the moment is $4 million. It's not much for a Hollywood leading man but his success as Elvis will inevitably bring him better paid roles.

Did Austin Butler do his own singing in the movie Elvis? ›

The short answer is, yes, that really is Austin Butler's voice you hear in Elvis – with snippets of the real singer blended in later on. The actor watched multiple videos of Elvis performing, studying footage of films and concerts to perfect the singer's voice.

Did Austin Butler not see his family while filming Elvis? ›

Austin Butler has opened up about his intense preparation for playing Elvis Presley in Elvis. In a new interview, Butler revealed that he didn't see his family “for about three years” while the film was in production. The 31-year-old explained: “I was prepping with [director Baz Luhrmann], and then I went to Australia.

Did the actor who played Elvis do his own singing? ›

It's been confirmed by both Butler and Luhrmann in a recent interview with the Hollywood Reporter that, yes, it's Austin Butler singing throughout. 30-year Butler described the enormous hours of work he put in to replicate Elvis's legendary vocals. "When I began the process, I set out to get my voice to be identical.

How much of the Elvis movie did Austin Butler sing? ›

As such, Presley's singing in the movie is from the years 1954 until Presley's death in 1977, spanning just 23 years. However, it is Austin Butler singing in Elvis for only half of those years.

How much was Elvis paid as an actor? ›

The finances were the same for all the films. Elvis' salary would be $400,000 per picture, plus $75,000 in general expenses and $25,000 for musical expenses. After MGM recouped $500,000, Elvis would receive 50% of the profits.

Why did Austin Butler get the role of Elvis? ›

Austin Butler Nailed 'Unchained Melody' to Secure the Role

The other actors had performed the very same song with their own screen tests, complete with the trademark hair and white jumpsuit, but not one of them seemed to replicate the real Elvis as much as Butler. "He did his own recording of 'Unchained Melody.

How long did Austin Butler prepare for Elvis? ›

Austin Butler Didn't See Family for 3 Years While Preparing for Elvis.

Has Austin Butler won any awards for Elvis? ›

Austin Butler

Why did Austin Butler not see his family for 3 years? ›

Austin Butler Said He Didn't See His Family For Three Years While Preparing For “Elvis” Months After Recalling How Baz Luhrmann Left Him “In Tears” When He Humiliated Him On Set. “method acting has done irreversible damage to hollywood actors.”

What did Austin Butler say about Elvis? ›

One of the key takeaways from his time with the King is in learning from how Presley dealt with fame. “In the beginning, especially, he always seemed very grateful and present, like he somehow was able to see it for what it was and it hadn't warped his reality,” Butler said.

Is Austin Butler still talking like Elvis? ›

"Elvis" star Austin Butler still sounds a lot like the King these days, but the voice change is "genuine" — and could be permanent, his voice coach said.

How much money did the Elvis movie make? ›

How good was Elvis voice? ›

Elvis Presley's three-octave vocal range was exceptional, 'very narrowly all at once a tenor, baritone, and bass'. A 1987 article in the Village Voice included an assessment of his voice in classical terms, categorizing it as a 'lyric baritone ... [but with] unexpectedly rich low [notes] ... and astounding high notes'.

Who bought the rights to Elvis songs? ›

RCA Records owned all of Elvis' music recordings. The RCA Records Label was bought by BMG in the 1980s and in 2004 BMG merged with Sony Music Entertainment to become Sony BMG. Sony BMG owns Elvis' recordings and they continue to use the RCA Records label for issuing Elvis releases.

Did Austin Butler wear prosthetics in Elvis movie? ›

Austin Butler & Tom Hanks Both Wore Prosthetics

Thomas went on to say that Butler not only had to be fitted with prosthetics and wigs during each decade of Elvis's journey, but he also wore two sets of false eyelashes and makeup.

Why did Austin Butler go to the Met Gala with Priscilla Presley? ›

Butler posed for photos with Presley, who recently praised his performance in the Baz Luhrmann-directed "Elvis," which premieres in theaters this summer. In a recent social media post, Presley raved about Butler's portrayal of her late ex-husband, calling him "outstanding." She added, "WOW!!!

How long did it take Elvis to be filmed? ›

The film has been in the works for 14 years.

How did Austin Butler learn to move like Elvis? ›

According to EW, Butler worked through a variety of dance styles to find his Elvis moves — from the famous tip-toe strut (for which he tackled tap dancing) to his little quirks, the leg shakes and the jitters. “Your muscles get quite fatigued, and you have to build up stamina with those things.


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