‘Never Experienced Pain Like That Before’

‘Never Experienced Pain Like That Before’

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Emma McIntyre/WireImage Austin Butler

Austin Butler is looking back on the difficult time he spent grieving his mother as he heads back to work.

During The Hollywood Reporter’s new actor roundtable discussion, actor Elvis, 31, talked about the death of his mother Lori, who died of cancer in 2014 when he was 23. Butler recalled putting question his acting career during that time period and the emotional experience. he had been doing MTV’s The Shannara Chronicles while missing his late mother.

Butler, who started out as a child star on Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel, said his mom saw his potential as an actor: “I owe her everything because she quit her job and took me to auditions and took me to acting class.”

Eventually, he “began to fall in love with the craft. But I was stuck in a lane of doing Nickelodeon and Disney. Then I moved on to youth TV shows. After my mom died, I had never experienced such pain before, and I started 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?’ “

“After my mother died, I went straight to New Zealand to start filming a youth TV show,” he continued, referring to the Shannara Chronicles. “A lot of people enjoyed the show and I had fun riding and stuff like that, but I went home and cried every night.”

RELATED: Austin Butler remembers his late mother during SNL debut: ‘I thought about her a lot’

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA – JUNE 04: Austin Butler attends the Australian premiere of ELVIS at the Pacific Events Cinema Fair on June 04, 2022 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

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Butler recalled, “I was dealing with grief, but there was also this feeling of being out of line with something that felt really fulfilling. I was done with that show, it just got canceled after two seasons, and I said, ‘I’d rather not be an actor. than to do something like that again.’ “

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At that point, Butler said he decided to take some time off, but he eventually “started 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 should sign up for The Iceman Cometh.’ Denzel [Washington]”It’s doing it on Broadway,” he added.

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Although he thought “there’s no way they’re going to throw me, they’re going to tear me to pieces, I don’t deserve to be here,” Butler did the part. “And this is the moment that changed my career,” he added.

Washington, 68, was instrumental in helping Butler land the role of Elvis Presley, calling on director Baz Luhrmann to vouch for the young star and his work ethic. The performance earned him a Golden Globe nomination, among other awards, and put Butler in the conversation for future Oscar nominations.

Announcing his mother’s death on September 12, 2014, Butler tweeted at the time, “Lori Butler, my mother, my hero and my best friend passed away this morning. Let’s all celebrate her. I love you and I will miss you every day mom.” He told the New York Times last year about his tribute to her and the number 27 tattoo on his wrist: “She was my best friend. She called 27 her God number. Every time she saw it, she felt that God was looking out. for him.”

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