Austin Butler Sent To The Emergency Room Because Of Playing Elvis

Exhaustion and stress caused by playing Elvis could have contributed to Austin Butler's lowered immune system, leaving him susceptible to a virus that sent the actor to the emergency room.

By Jessica Scott | Updated

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While the reviews for Elvis may have been a bit mixed, there is no denying that Austin Butler played The King to perfection. He wore himself out doing all he could to become Elvis, especially when it came to getting his voice down pat. According to the New York Post, however, all that work may have contributed to him ending up in the hospital as soon as shooting was finished. 

“I didn’t get sick the entire time I filmed,” Austin Butler told the press on the SAG Awards red carpet this past weekend, “but the day that I finished, I ended up in the emergency room.” Right after filming wrapped in May of 2022, the actor woke up at 4 a.m. in “excruciating pain.” He was immediately taken to the hospital, where it was discovered that he had a virus that closely mimics the symptoms of appendicitis.

“My body just started shutting down the day after I finished Elvis,” Austin Butler went on. While his filming of the movie most likely did not have a direct effect on his getting that virus (unless he caught it while on set), his exhaustion certainly could have played a part in weakening his immune system and setting him up to get sick. It is a well-known fact that physical, mental, and emotional stress all contribute to making one more susceptible to viruses and other illnesses, so the timeline would make perfect sense in this case since the actor was pushing himself to the limit every day.

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And speaking of pushing himself to the limit, that virus was not the only health issue to hit Austin Butler while he was filming Elvis. He lost his voice while he was singing “Never Been to Spain” over and over again so that they could get the take just right. He had to go on vocal rest for a few days before he could return to the scene and get it done.

Austin Butler worked incredibly hard to perfect his vocal impression of Elvis, so much so that he hasn’t been able to shake Elvis’ “accent” even though filming has been finished for almost a year. He gets a lot of flack in the media for still talking like the late singer (the word “cringe” has been thrown around a lot), but both Butler himself and his vocal coach say that he made such a deep connection with this voice and worked on it so hard that, for the moment, it has become his real voice.

He may end up sounding like Elvis forever, or he may eventually return to his original voice over time. His vocal coach noted that transforming his voice to portray the older version of Elvis may have been particularly stressful for his vocal cords and may have been “too much of a strain on him,” to the extent that for now he is, for lack of a better term, stuck with this voice.

Austin Butler himself hardly notices that he still sounds like Elvis, but he admits that he does get that a lot. He seems convinced that he will always sound like Elvis now, at least slightly.

So, in the end, Austin Butler was able to recover from his virus after just a week in bed, but the Elvis voice is proving to be much harder to shake.