Austin Butler is still coming up for air from his intense experience of portraying Elvis Presley in the upcoming Baz Luhurmann-directed biopic—but that air happens to be the salty French sea breeze at the Cannes Film Festival, and it seems to be working for him.
The journey of Luhurmann’s Elvis to Cannes has been a long and winding one, drawn out over four pre- and mid-pandemic long years that sent Butler down a serious Elvis rabbithole. (Infamously, it was the bellwether event of Tom Hanks, who plays Elvis’s manager in the film, testing positive for COVID-19 in March 2020, that initially halted production.) In his recent a profile in the June/July issue of GQ, the actor admitted that he’s very much still got the King on the brain: “You can lose touch with who you actually are. And I definitely had that when I finished Elvis—not knowing who I was.” And while the role still clearly has a hold on the native Californian’s speaking voice, it also make sense that he’s still dressing for the part during the rollout. Paying homage to Elvis’s style can veer into costume territory at the drop of a blue suede shoe, but Butler’s been keeping things in good taste.
During an afternoon photocall, he channeled the King in his early days, wearing a crisp spread-collar sport shirt and trousers from The Row, a Cartier watch, and Jacques Marie Mage shades—very much the archetypal ’50s guy silhouette, with just a bit of slouch. He went just the slightest bit groovier for the red carpet, in sharp pointed boots and a custom Celine double-breasted suit with a tiny cornflower-blue flower in his lapel. A little soft, a little arrogant, overall quite cool. Sound familiar? That’s Elvis, baby!