Austin Butler Says He Drank Microwaved Ice Cream and Ate Donuts to Gain Weight to Play Elvis Presley

The actor plays the legendary singer in the Baz Luhrmann biopic, 'Elvis.'

Austin Butler had a fun time proving he was the right man to play Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann's Oscar-nominated biopic, Elvis. The 31-year-old actor, who has received an Academy Award nod for his role as the iconic singer, opened up about how he convinced the director that he was right fit for the role.

"Especially when I was trying to get the part before Baz really welcomed me on the journey, we were trying to figure out if I could play older Elvis," Butler shared on Variety's Awards Circuit podcast. "My agent actually told me, 'They don't know if you can play older Elvis, so I think you need to gain some weight.'"

Butler decided to take some inspiration from another acclaimed actor: Ryan Gosling.

"I'd heard that Ryan Gosling when he was going to do Lovely Bones microwaved Häagen-Dazs and would drink it, so I started doing that," he shared. "I would go get two dozen doughnuts and I'd eat them all. I really started to pack on some pounds."

Butler admitted, "It's fun for a week or so and then you feel awful with yourself."

Hugh Stewart

And though the physical transformation might have helped Butler land the part, he didn't get a chance to use his weight-gaining techniques during filming.

"We were also planning on shooting chronologically at the beginning. That went out the window, especially with COVID and everything. It's just impossible," he said.

Shooting the singer's life out of order meant Butler had to undergo quick physical transformations that didn't give him the opportunity to gain the weight naturally.

"You've got to switch back and forth, vocally and physically. Initially, I thought we could take a break halfway through it. I can gain the weight for the later stuff," he said. "With the way that we shot it we weren't able to do it, so we had to use different physical things."

Butler shared that he used a "body-adjustment suit" to play the legendary singer in his later years.