Austin Butler Talks 'Excruciating' Illness After Elvis Filming, Vanessa Hudgens Split

Austin Butler says he was hospitalized after calling it a wrap on his “Elvis” film.

During an interview with GQ Hype, the 30-year-old revealed how much preparation he had done for the role and that his health may have suffered as a result.

“You can lose touch with who you actually are. And I definitely had that when I finished Elvis—not knowing who I was,” Butler said.

He even said his preparation involved seeking out unconventional methods like studying the behaviors of animals.

“He has catlike things, sort of like when a lion looks out at the prairie,” he explained of footage he had seen of Elvis. “There’s this quality of an alligator, when it comes up from underneath the water.”

Eventually, after he began to lose himself in Elvis, he sought the advice of veteran co-star Tom Hanks who recommended he read something that had nothing to do with the role everyday.

“That gave me permission, because up till that point, I was only reading everything to do with Elvis. I was only listening to Elvis. It was Elvis’ influences and Elvis himself and nothing else,” Butler said.

The actor had given so much of himself to his work that by the time the film wrapped in March 2021, his body had started to shut down.

“The next day I woke up at four in the morning with excruciating pain, and I was rushed to the hospital,” Butler recalled being diagnosed with a virus that simulated appendicitis and spent a week in bed. “My body just started shutting down the day after I finished Elvis.”

Butler said that Elvis remained with him even saying that his family had stated that he didn’t sound like himself anymore. The actor then flew to London to begin filming his next movie where he unwittingly still channeled the famed King.

“I was like, ‘This is what Elvis felt when he was put into the Army,'” Butler says. “You know, performing, and the glamour of it and hearing screaming fans, and then suddenly you’re just dressed like everybody else in those fatigues.”

During filming, Austin’s relationship of nine years with Vanessa Hudgens also came to a close. He addressed their split, “Life is full of changes, and you’ve got to find a way to constantly be evolving and growing.”

The actor has most recently been linked to Kaia Gerber but kept tight lipped about their relationship, “I don’t think there’s anything I want to share about that, but thank you for providing the space.”

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