Austin Butler “barely remembers” the year he spent filming ‘Masters of the Air’.
The 32-year-old actor said he was left so exhausted after playing ‘Elvis’ in Baz Luhrmann’s 2022 biopic of the singer he spent the months shooting the new World War II fighter pilot drama for Apple+ in a total daze.
He told the latest issue of Esquire: “I was just trying to remember who I was.
“I hardly remember filming that. Almost the full year that I was in London.”
Austin plays teetotal pilot team leader Gale ‘Buck’ Cleven in ‘Masters of the Air’, based on the 2007 book ‘Masters of the Air: America’s Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany’ by Donald L Miller, which follows the story of the 100th Bomb Group, a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bomber unit in the Eighth Air Force in eastern England during World War II.
Austin’s Esquire profile said he was still so consumed by portraying Elvis he had a dialect coach on the set of the show whose sole job was to help him stop talking in the rocker’s trademark Mississippi drawl.
The actor got so wrapped up playing the King of Rock ’n’ Roll that the morning after production on ‘Elvis’ ended he woke at 4am in agonising pain.
Doctors ruled out appendix trouble and Covid, and the actor – who was nominated for a best actor Oscar for his role as the ‘Hound Dog’ singer – told Esquire: “My body just crashed.”
Doctors kept Austin in hospital after he was admitted in agony for a few days, and even though he was discharged he was still far from well.
His illness stopped him from reporting for work on ‘Masters of the Air’ for a week after he was due to start, and at one point before he began the project he was coughing up blood.