Austin Butler got so wrapped up in playing Elvis Presley the actor said he felt possessed.
He spent two years researching and copying his hip-swivelling hero for Baz Luhrmann’s 2022 £120millon biopic.
Butler, 31, said he feels the King’s “energy” never died – and he had weird experiences when copying his moves.
READ MORE: Priscilla Presley 'no longer speaking to granddaughter' after ongoing will battle
He said: “I had many of those moments where whether it was a dream or these sort of out-of-body experience moments or yeah, there’s that thing where energy is neither created nor destroyed and you feel things.
“It’s hard to actually put into language because it’s these really intense feelings.”
He felt the same connection gazing into the eyes of Presley’s ex-wife Priscilla, 77, while researching the role, for which he’s up for a Best Actor Oscar.
Butler said: “I met Priscilla beforehand. And we spent some time together. And that was really so moving.
“I mean, just looking into her eyes alone. She’s the woman that he loved for so many years and has been in love with him since she was so young. It’s just amazing. When you look in her eyes, and you go, ‘These are the same eyes that he fell in love with,’ it’s unbelievable.
“So yeah, and then after the film, you know we’ve spent more time together now and just hearing how it’s moved her and also the moments when she says, ‘You know if he was here today how he would feel…’ I just get chills.”
Butler spent lockdown self-isolating while surrounded with pictures of Elvis and didn’t see a soul during that time.
He added: “I went three months without a hug. I went three months where I just was locked in my apartment.
“I wallpapered the walls with images of Elvis in a timeline. And I did nothing but just watch his films and interviews and obsess.
“I would set up a camera and I’d record myself and I’d watch it back and just trying things. It allowed for me to have this time where I could just follow my curiosity.’
“Every day it was just, ‘Where’s my curiosity leading?’ After those three months, when we were allowed to kind of come out, I met Baz and we went surfing.”
Butler can’t shake the southern drawl of the singer, who died in August 1977 aged 42. He has felt bereft since the project stopped, adding: “Yeah. You don’t quite know what to do with yourself when you finish.”
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