By Kerri-Ann Roper, PA Entertainment Editor
Austin Butler has revealed he was rushed to hospital the day after he finished filming on the forthcoming Elvis Presley biopic.
The 30-year-old actor plays the King of Rock and Roll in the movie Elvis, directed by Oscar-nominated film-maker Baz Luhrmann.
Butler told British GQ that, the day after wrapping the project in March last year, he was diagnosed with a virus which “simulates appendicitis” and left him bedridden for a week.
He told the magazine: “I woke up at four in the morning with excruciating pain, and I was rushed to hospital. My body just started shutting down the day after I finished Elvis.”
The film tells the story of Presley’s life through the lens of his complicated relationship with enigmatic manager Colonel Tom Parker, played by Tom Hanks.
Butler, who is the cover star of the June issue of British GQ, described meeting Elvis’s ex-wife, Priscilla, who married the star in 1967.
He said: “She looked like an angel. I walked down the hall with Baz afterwards with tears in my eyes.”
The actor, whose previous credits include TV series The Shannara Chronicles and Quentin Tarantino’s film Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood, said of playing the famous musician: “You can lose touch with who you actually are. And I definitely had that when I finished Elvis – not knowing who I was.”
He also spoke about how he and Elvis had lost their mothers at the same age.
“His mother passed away when he was 23 and my mum passed away when I was 23 so, when I learned that, it was one of those things where I got chills, and I just thought ‘OK, I can connect to that’,” he said.
Presley died in Memphis in 1977 at the age of 42 following one of the most influential careers in popular music with hit songs like Can’t Help Falling In Love, A Little Less Conversation, Don’t Be Cruel, Jailhouse Rock, Love Me Tender and many more.
Elvis is scheduled for nationwide release by Warner Bros Pictures on June 24th.
– The June issue of British GQ is available via digital download and on newsstands from May 31.