Tom Hanks really is the nice guy we all think he is. Just ask the Oscar winner’s “Elvis” co-star Austin Butler.
Butler recently revealed he was offered a role in the upcoming Hanks-produced miniseries “Masters of the Air” after the “Saving Private Ryan” star expressed concern for Butler’s mental health.
“You have immersed yourself so deeply in Elvis that, for your mental health, it would be wise to go straight into something else,” Butler said Hanks told him, as quoted in The Times of London. “If you just jump off the train, you might have emotional whiplash … And, you know, I’ve got this thing I’m producing.”
The 31-year-old actor would go on to say that embodying Elvis Presley moved him “to go to the very edge of what is possible, and not every experience will be like that. I don’t think I’ll ever have an experience like that again, but if I have to really dig, it makes me feel alive.”
Butler’s deep commitment to playing the King of Rock and Roll was widely observed online, with many noting that the Anaheim-born thespian still had remnants of Elvis’ twangy, Southern accent months after the film had wrapped.
“I don’t think I sound like him still, but I guess I must because I hear it a lot,” he told press earlier this year after accepting a Golden Globe for his performance. “I often liken it to when somebody lives in another country for a long time, and I had three years where that was my only focus in life, so I’m sure there’s just pieces of my DNA that will always be linked in that way.”
The “Dune: Part Two” star spoke with The Times in 2022 about the physical and emotional toll that taking on the role took on him.
“I thought I might sink into a major depression when I finish this because suddenly the only thing I have done, now I don’t have. I will feel purposeless, and suddenly the rest of my life is going to come flooding back in a way that might be a bit overwhelming,” Butler said, so he talked to Hanks and “Elvis” director Baz Luhrmann. “Baz was like, ‘It might be nice for you to just jump right into something else.’”