Ryan Gosling’s Influence on Austin Butler’s Transformation For ‘Elvis’

Austin Butler drew inspiration from Ryan Gosling’s weight gain techniques for his role as Elvis in Baz Luhrmann’s biographical film. Despite being a breakthrough role for Butler, who had previously starred in movies by renowned directors like Quentin Tarantino and Jim Jarmusch, ‘Elvis’ earned him critical acclaim, including a Golden Globe win and an Oscar nomination.

Butler’s commitment to the role extended beyond mimicking Elvis’s distinct voice and singing. He also underwent a significant weight gain to portray the older, heavier Elvis in the later scenes, drawing inspiration from Ryan Gosling’s method for ‘The Lovely Bones.’

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Ryan Gosling Austin Butler Elvis
Image Courtesy: People

Following Gosling’s approach of consuming microwaved Häagen-Dazs to gain weight quickly, Butler adopted a similar strategy, indulging in large quantities of doughnuts. Despite the physical toll, Butler’s weight gain contributed to the authenticity of his portrayal.

In addition to his physical transformation, Butler’s connection to Elvis, having lost his mother at a young age like the iconic singer, added emotional depth to his performance. The meticulous efforts of the costume and makeup team further enhanced Butler’s resemblance to Elvis, earning them Academy Award nominations. 

Ryan Gosling Austin Butler Elvis
Image Courtesy: People

Moreover, Butler’s ability to capture Elvis’s on-stage persona and unique singing voice, combined with his portrayal of the singer’s range of emotions off-stage, culminated in a compelling performance.

Butler’s dedication to the role mirrors other actors’ extreme methods for weight gain in film history, such as Robert De Niro’s transformation for ‘Raging Bull’ and Christian Bale’s for ‘Vice’. While these methods may seem extreme, they underscore the commitment of actors like Butler to their craft, ultimately resulting in memorable performances on screen.

– Farheen Ali