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Austin Butler said method acting for “Dune” would have been “unhealthy” for his “family and friends” after “living” as Elvis Presley left him in “excruciating pain.”

Austin Butler is known for his intense dedication to his roles, and his portrayal of Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann’s biopic “Elvis” was no exception. During the three-year filming process, Butler fully immersed himself in the character of Presley, even off-camera. This method acting approach took a toll on his health, leading to hospitalization after experiencing excruciating pain once filming wrapped up.

Despite the challenges and health issues, Butler’s commitment paid off with widespread acclaim and his first Oscar nomination for his performance. However, he admitted to developing unhealthy habits during the shoot, such as consuming microwaved Häagen-Dazs to gain weight for the role.

Now, as Butler prepares for his role as Feyd in “Dune: Part Two,” he’s taking a different approach. Reflecting on the toll that method acting took on him and his loved ones during “Elvis,” Butler has set boundaries to prioritize his well-being.

While still dedicated to his craft, Butler consciously separates himself from his character when the cameras stop rolling. This decision allows him to maintain a healthy balance and protect his personal life.

Director Denis Villeneuve praised Butler’s ability to slip into character effortlessly while maintaining a playful atmosphere on set. Butler’s transformation into Feyd, complete with a menacing bald-headed look, impressed Villeneuve, who described it as a “total transformation” that unlocked a new side of the actor.

Despite his reluctance to discuss the physical changes in detail, Butler acknowledged the gift of seeing someone else in the mirror, indicating the profound impact of his character immersion.

As Butler continues to navigate his career, his experiences with “Elvis” and “Dune” highlight the delicate balance between dedication to craft and the importance of self-care in the demanding world of acting.

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