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Austin Butler says Tom Hanks offered him first post-‘Elvis’ role for his “mental health”

E Austin Butler Abc 01242023
ABC/Randy Holmes

While the movie Elvis showed that his manager, “Colonel” Tom Parker, didn’t always have the superstar’s best interests in mind, the same can’t be said of Parker’s big-screen alter ego, Tom Hanks, to his Elvis co-star.

According to an interview with Austin Butler in The Times of London, Hanks offered the young star his first gig after the Oscar-nominated performance — a lead in Apple TV+’s upcoming miniseries Masters of the Air — for the sake of Butler’s mental health.

As has been widely reported, Butler put himself through the ringer to portray Elvis Presley, not only adopting The King’s accent, but also transforming his body for the role.

In the interview, Butler explained the role took him “to the very edge of what is possible,” noting, “I don’t think I’ll ever have an experience like that again, but if I have to really dig, it makes me feel alive.”

With his going “to the very edge” in mind, Butler says Hanks offered him a role in his upcoming World War II series, which was co-produced by Steven Spielberg. “You have immersed yourself so deeply in Elvis that, for your mental health, it would be wise to go straight into something else,” Butler said, quoting the Hanks.

“If you just jump off the train, you might have emotional whiplash,” Hanks reportedly told Butler.

The 31-year-old actor can be seen in Masters of the Air, alongside fellow recent Oscar nominee Barry Keoghan, starting September 20 on Apple TV+.

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