Elvis Director Baz Luhrmann Reveals the Real Reason He Didn’t Cast Harry Styles

While Austin Butler ended up landing the lead role in the upcoming Elvis biopic, director Baz Luhrmann did consider giving Harry Styles the part. Find out why he decided not to cast the singer.

By Tamantha Gunn Jun 07, 2022 6:50 PMTags
Watch: Austin Butler on Playing Elvis: "Truly the Privilege of a Lifetime"

Harry Styles is too iconic for his own good. 

During a June 6 appearance on the Fitzy & Wippa podcast, Elvis director Baz Luhrmann shared why he did not cast the former One Direction singer as Elvis Presley in the upcoming biopic over Austin Butler.

"First of all, Harry is really a talented actor," Baz said. "The real issue with Harry is, he's Harry Styles. He's already an icon. So you know, I think Harry and I came to a place genuinely…I mean he was just desperate to put the suit on and explore, he's such a great spirit. I have nothing but great things to say about Harry Styles." 

The filmmaker admitted that he didn't choose Austin for the film—which hits theaters June 24—but said the Zoey 101 alum was rather "drawn to the role."

"He was almost born to play it," Baz continued. "We can talk about it now. You know, he loses his mom at the same age that Elvis did. He sends a video to me with this thing, it just happened like two years non-stop of living and breathing as Elvis. He's now going a through sort of like deprogramming thing because it's been a long time since he's known who he was."

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Though Styles missed out on the chance to play Elvis, he is still booked and busy. Aside from headlining both weekends of Coachella in April, last month, the "Watermelon" singer dropped his third studio album Harry's House, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart.

And his success doesn't stop at just music. In September, Harry will hit the big screen alongside Florence Pugh in the psychological thriller film, Don't Worry Darling, which is directed by his girlfriend Olivia Wilde

Dave J Hogan/Getty Images, Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM

During a May 18 appearance on the Howard Stern Show, Harry gushed about working alongside the House alum for the film. "I had a wonderful experience being directed by Olivia," he told host Howard Stern. "I think there is something that obviously…acting is kind of very uncomfortable at times. I think you have to trust a lot." 

He added, "Being able to trust your director is a gift. That was very helpful and it really meant for kind of a really nice experience working on that movie."