Austin Butler has been open about the demanding preparations he underwent for his title role in Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis, and immediately after filming for the biopic wrapped, it all caught up to him.
In an interview with People on the SAG Awards red carpet Sunday (Feb. 26), the 31-year-old actor recalled being hospitalized on the very day he finished Elvis. “I didn’t get sick the entire time I filmed, but the day that I finished, I ended up in the emergency room,” he remarked. “I spent a week in bed, then I went to this other job.”
Butler previously shared that the hospitalization was due to his contracting a virus, which simulated the symptoms of appendicitis. “I woke up at 4 in the morning with excruciating pain, and I was rushed to hospital,” he told British GQ before the film came out. “My body just started shutting down the day after I finished Elvis.”
And though he managed to avoid getting sick until his time as The King was over, there were other signs of strain along the way. “We did so many takes,” he said at the SAG Awards, recalling a scene in which he sang “Never Been to Spain” over and over. “At a certain point, I just lost my voice. So then I went on vocal rest for a couple days and I was able to come back.”
“You get through it all,” he added. “There was those days, but it was the greatest ride of my life.”
Though Butler didn’t take home outstanding performance by a male actor in a leading role Sunday night — the honor went to Brendan Fraser for The Whale — he did pick up best actor in a drama, motion picture at the Golden Globes in January. He also won best actor Feb. 19 at the BAFTA Awards, and is in the running for best actor at this year’s Oscars.