Elvis star Austin Butler has detailed advice given to him by Leonardo DiCaprio about working with director Baz Luhrmann.
Butler starred in Elvis in 2022, directed by Luhrmann, while DiCaprio and the Australian filmmaker worked together on Romeo + Juliet and The Great Gatsby.
Luhrmann is known for an unconventional, slightly flamboyant style of directing, and DiCaprio told Butler to simply trust the process while the pair were together in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
"Leo told me, 'Baz is going to constantly keep you off balance, and it's going to pull things out of you you never knew you had inside you,'" Butler told Entertainment Weekly.
"That's exactly the experience that I had.
"There were days where I just thought, 'Baz, why don't we just do what we prepared?'
"I realized that he would push me right to the edge of what I was capable of. You capture lightning in a bottle in a way — if you had just done the thing that you had prepared, it may have been more stale."
Luhrmann like a jazz musician
Butler continued by saying that Luhrmann works like a jazz musician in that sometimes he takes things in a different direction if it feels right.
"In order to play jazz, you have to know music theory," he explained.
"You have to know the scales on that guitar inside and out, but at the end of the day, you're improvising. You have all this knowledge and practice that is then going into this present moment and playing off whatever's in front of you.
"That's how Baz is because he works so hard at preparation. When it comes time to actually film, I'll have been preparing a scene for a year, and suddenly, the day of, the entire scene changes."
Great Gatsby, The
Drama / Romance
2013 • 143 minutes
Romeo + Juliet
Romance / Drama
1996 • 120 minutes