Elvis Presley and Austin Butler were equally devoted to this 1950s cultural icon
Elvis Presley and Austin Butler, who play the king of rock and roll in the new feature film Elvis, seem to have more in common than most fans realize. Both men have endured similar heartaches in their lives and struggled to find their footing in the entertainment business. However, they were also devoted to this 1950s cultural icon. Who was it that piqued their interest? This actor is one of the most famous faces of the decade.
Elvis Presley and Austin Butler both endured their mother’s death
In an interview with Vogue Magazine, Butler revealed that in 2014 he lost his mother and his “best friend” Lori to cancer.
Presley suffered the same loss at the age of 23 when his mother, Gladys, died of a heart attack in 1958.
Both men were equally devoted to their mothers. Butler spoke about this parallel between him and Presley in the aforementioned interview.
“I had watched all these documentaries and learned a few days before that Elvis’ mother had died when he was 23, like me,” Butler said. “I thought he probably had nights he woke up from nightmares. So what can I do with that?
This realization came on the heels of Butler listening to Presley’s entire catalog of songs in chronological order while painting his house. He first recorded an audition for Luhrmann, singing Presley’s 1977 hit “Unchained Melody.”
This audition stopped Luhrmann in his tracks and led him to consider Butler for the role that changed his career.
Which actor were Elvis Presley and Austin Butler devoted to?
The cultural icon of the 1950s that Presley and Butler revered was none other than James Dean.
James Dean only made three films in his short life. He died in a car accident in 1955.
These films included East of Eden, rebel without a causeand Giant.
When Dean died at the age of 24, he became a symbol of the confused, restless and idealistic youth of the 1950s.
Enext to Eden was Dean’s only film released before his death. Both rebel without a cause and Giant were released posthumously.
Butler opened up about his admiration for Dean during an interview for Vogue, held near the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, where Dean filmed scenes for rebel without a cause.
The actor shared that the observatory is one of his favorite places in the city, in part because of his fascination with Dean.
“James Dean was the actor I obsessed over as a kid,” Butler says.
“I watched rebel without a cause so many times,” Butler shared. “It seems almost impossible what Dean was doing, the animal power he had.”
Presley would have revered Dean as well as actors Marlon Brando and Tony Curtis: prodigious performers who successfully rose to challenges.
Their later careers contrast sharply with Presley’s film work; with scripts that had him singing and dancing through the material to piggyback on his musical success.
Could Elvis Presley have had a film career like James Dean?
Did you know Elvis never wore denim outside of his movies? Discover Elvis’ eye-catching style and its impact on fashion. Watch the full video on YouTube and listen to Elvis’ 30 #1 hits (extended) 💥#ElvisPresley #ElvisMovie
Watch: https://t.co/3895LfvHAK pic.twitter.com/946DuLPhMq
—Elvis Presley (@ElvisPresley) May 19, 2022
James Dean made films that placed him in the arch of the teenage counterculture, the icon of post-war children who wanted more power and freedom than their parents.
These ideals were essential to Dean, who found kinship in actors who also felt like strangers, including friends Sal Mineo, Natalie Wood, Martin Landau, Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe.
Presley also symbolized this same counterculture. However, due to the way Colonel Tom Parker handled his film career, Presley was given scripts that relied on his musical talent and failed to provide substance by way of a script.
In contrast, Presley’s film career eclipsed Dean’s.
Dean has only done three movies. Presley racked up 31 leading movie roles before his death in 1977. The majority of those films were made over 13 years, from 1956 to 1970, The Washington Post reported.
The motion picture Elvis debuts in theaters on June 24.
RELATED: Austin Butler Generates Same Hysteria as Leonardo DiCaprio Before ‘Titanic,’ Says ‘Elvis’ Director