Elvis movie: Austin Butler met Beatles star for advice on The King

Austin Butler recalls preparing for Elvis biopic

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Earlier this year Elvis Presley was immortalised on the big screen in his first Hollywood blockbuster biopic: Elvis. The Baz Luhrmann movie earned a staggering amount of positive reviews – with a lot of praise being heaped on Austin Butler. The actor even received praise from Elvis’ ex-wife, Priscilla Presley, who claimed he got the King down “to a T”.

But he couldn’t have done it without some advice from some famous faces.

Butler revealed he did a lot of research into how Elvis spoke and acted when he was and wasn’t on stage.

His research eventually allowed him to cross paths with one of the remaining members of The Beatles before the film was released: Paul McCartney.

Butler recalled meeting the Hey Jude singer while on a train from France after being invited to do so by his daughter, Stella McCartney.

The actor was already friends with Stella who had asked him to join her at her show. He recalled her saying: “Come to my show at 11am, and you can ride the train back [to London] with me and my dad.”

Butler remembered the event on The Late Late Show with James Corden. He said of his conversation with McCartney: “We just talked and he was so human and it was just amazing.”

Of course, the conversation turned to Butler’s then-upcoming movie Elvis, and McCartney’s history with the King.

Butler couldn’t help but ask McCartney about his experience with the King. He quizzed the star: “I haven’t met many people who were actually in the room with Elvis… what was it like? What is your story?”

The Beatles famously met the star in the 1960s – but things didn’t go as planned. Both parties were very nervous about meeting one another and were met with silence.

Flaming Star: Elvis Presley stars in 1960 western

Eventually, Elvis broke the ice. The King began handing out guitars and brought out a piano. Before long, he and the Fab Four were jamming in his living room in Graceland.

McCartney recalled this momentous event to Butler – a story he had heard before. But he included a detail never before revealed about that legendary meeting.

The singer explained that, during their meeting, Elvis was listening to a classic song on his jukebox that fans may not have known about. 

McCartney recalled: “The entire time there was a jukebox in the back, and Elvis was playing ‘Mohair Sand’ – a Charlie Rich song.”

Stella found the song and played it to Butler and McCartney, who sang it to him and drummed along on the table.

After that, Butler revealed: “[McCartney] gave me a hug and we went our separate ways.”

McCartney has been very open with his adoration for Elvis over the years.

McCartney once spoke about how much he loved Elvis’ music as a child.

However, things changed towards the end of the King’s career.

“Elvis was the guy,” McCartney reminisced. “He ended up a complete plonker, unfortunately. He turned in the end, wanted to become a Federal drug marshal.”

McCartney added: “But I did love him in the early days, and yes when we met him, that’s the period I remember. I don’t bother when you go into Vegas and the rhinestones and all that – it’s like he didn’t exist from then on for me.”

Elvis is available on digital streaming platforms now. 


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