“Is this a noble profession at all?”: Golden Globes Winner Austin Butler Considered Quitting Acting Forever After One of the Most Traumatic Personal Loss
The Academy Awards are not that far away. And especially after the Golden Globes, people have an idea of the movies, actors and cast that will be nominated for it. The Hollywood Reporter, like every year, took potential actors to its office for an Actors Roundtable. The names are easily the best performers of the year and have impressed critics. It featured Huy Quan, Elvis’ Austin Butler, Hustle’s Adam Sandler, The Whale’s Brendan Fraser, The Banshees’ Colin Farrell and Inspection’s Jeremy Pope.
The panel was filled with an incredible cast who delved into their journeys, personal losses and how they motivate themselves and find the determination to continually improve their craft. In this interview, Austin Butler, who played Elvis Presley in Elvis, talked about a dark phase when he almost quit acting.
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Austin Butler’s Mom Played an Important Role in His Early Acting Career Austin Butler Wins Best Actor in a Motion Picture for Elvis
The actor was asked about his early acting career, to which Butler explained that acting was a side job where he earned a few bucks. He was a shy child, but he enjoyed the company of actors. His mother realized this and started taking him to auditions. This started Austin Butler’s early career, where he worked with Nickelodeon and Disney, which was huge at the time.
“It started around 12 o’clock. I just started working overtime. I was a very shy child. If that kid knew that I’m sitting around all my heroes right now, talking like that in public, he wouldn’t believe it. But being around the other actors, I suddenly felt like I had found my tribe. I started wanting to be around other people. My mom saw that in me, and I owe her everything because she quit her job and took me to auditions and took me to acting classes. Then I started working. This was at the height of Nickelodeon, and you’d make $100 a day or something, and, as a kid, that was huge! Then, as I started to find some mentors who would say, “You should check out Raging Bull and East of Eden,” I started to fall in love with the craft. But I’m stuck in a lane of doing Nickelodeon and Disney. Then I moved on to youth TV shows.”
Austin Butler’s mother’s sacrifice gave Butler an early start in his career. The actor also very smartly transitioned from the Disney lane to the Young Adult lane. He also encountered some mentors who would have a huge influence throughout his career later on when it finally led to his big movie, Elvis
Related: ‘She hugged me with tears in her eyes’: Late singer Lisa Marie thanks Austin Butler for bringing her father Elvis Presley to life, honoring his legacy
Austin Butler almost quit acting after losing his mother to cancer Austin Butler as Elvis Presley.
Unfortunately, the actor lost his mother to cancer, after which he plunged into an endless pit of grief and depression. Butler explained that he had never experienced grief like this before and it made him question everything, including his career choice. Suddenly acting didn’t feel so important and he took a break.
“After my mother died, I had never experienced such pain before and I began to ask. Suddenly I was around doctors and people who were hurting a lot in hospitals and I thought: “Is acting a noble profession? Should I do this or should I give of myself in a way that can help people dealing with cancer or something like that?”
He could not answer this question, nor could he escape it; as he no longer liked acting, the actor took a break from it. Things got worse and he hit rock bottom until the phone rang and his manager called for Butler to finally take the stage.
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Austin Butler in Elvis
“I was 24, 25 years old at the time. I thought, “I have some money in the bank. I’m just going to take time off.” Then I began to sink deeper and deeper into depression. It was like that for about six or eight months. Then my agent called me and said, “You have to sign up for The Iceman Cometh.” Denzel is doing it on Broadway.”
The actor prepared for the role and auditioned for it, he flew from LA to New York with the suspicion that the Broadway boys would tear him up. Fortunately he got the job and Elvis was soon noticed.
“I flew in early and worked with one of my acting coaches, who has been a long-time mentor, Larry Moss, for three days straight, and then I went into the room and they gave me the job in the room. And that’s the moment that changed my career.”
After the young actor learned about Elvis and the film being made, he began preparing for the role before even screen testing for it. Much later, Butler gave a screen test and was chosen to play the King of Rock n Roll.
Elvis is available to stream on Amazon Prime, Hulu, Apple TV and HBO Max.