Not content with dominating pop music, Harry Styles also fancies the odd foray into the film world. Brief appearances in Dunkirk and Eternals will be followed this year by a leading role in his girlfriend Olivia Wilde’s psychological drama Don’t Worry Darling, whose trailer sent social media into overdrive recently.
Back in 2019, Styles was also one of the frontrunners to be cast as Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann’s biopic, competing with the likes of Ansel Elgort and Miles Teller. Luhrmann ended up casting the relatively unknown Austin Butler instead, and there was a pretty obvious reason Styles wasn’t chosen for the role.
“The real issue with Harry is, he’s Harry Styles. He’s already an icon,” Luhrmann told Fitzy & Wippa on NovaFM. It’s true – casting a current music superstar in the role of a former one would make for a disorientating watch.
The Australian director did call Styles “a really talented actor,” and said that he “would work on something with him.” “Harry and I came to a place, genuinely I mean, he was just desperate to put the suit on and explore,” Luhrmann continued. “He’s such a great spirit and I have nothing but great things to say about Harry Styles.”
Casting Butler hasn’t been a mistake though, with his portrayal of Elvis being widely praised. The Los Angeles Times review of the biopic hailed Butler as “a decent physical match for Elvis and a better one vocally,” while Time Out said that when the actor “shakes his hips in Elvis’s first gig as a full-blown rock ‘n’ roller, it’s like watching two stars being born.”
Luhrmann also gushed about Butler’s talent in the radio interview, saying he was “born to play” the role of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. “The thing about Aust was that he will tell you himself, I didn’t pick him, it’s as if he was drawn like the role drew them in because he was almost born to play it,” he said.
Elvis is set for release on Thursday, June 23rd.
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