‘Elvis’ Star Recalls Being Rushed To ER When Filming Wrapped, ‘Body Just Started Shutting Down’

“Elvis” actor Austin Butler recently discussed the dramatic turn of events after filming the award-winning biographical film.

The 31-year-old said portraying rock and roll legend Elvis Presley was the “greatest ride” of his life, but he also experienced a health scare at the conclusion of filming. Butler was scheduled to start working on another project immediately but wound up in the hospital instead.

“I had a week of downtime, where I actually ended up in the hospital,” he told People while walking the red carpet at the 2023 SAG Awards on Sunday. “I didn’t get sick the entire time I filmed, but the day that I finished, I ended up in the emergency room. So I spent a week in bed and then I went to this other job.” 

The Golden Globe award winner also discussed the incident during a 2022 interview with GQ. Butler recalled waking up at 4 in the morning with “excruciating pain” and being “rushed to hospital.”

“My body just started shutting down the day after I finished ‘Elvis,’” he explained. The actor had gotten sick with a virus that mimicked the symptoms of appendicitis. 

And that incident wasn’t the only time Butler experienced health complications during his turn as the King of Rock and Roll. As Butler worked to look and sound just like Elvis, he also lost his voice while performing the hit song, “Never Been to Spain.”

“We did so many takes. And at a certain point, I just lost my voice,” the actor said. “So then I went on vocal rest for a couple days, and I was able to come back.”

Butler was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role at the SAG Awards but did not take home the prize. He did win the Golden Globe for Best Actor in January and the BAFTA for Best Actor in February.


“Elvis,” directed by Baz Luhrmann, currently has a 94% audience score and is rated 77% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Though it’s been criticized for taking liberties with historical events, it was generally well-received as a biopic. Fans were especially impressed with Butler’s dedication to transforming into the legendary rock star.

The 2022 historical drama has been nominated for several Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor. 

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