All the Baz Luhrmann Elvis candidates singing07/02/2019
Take a break from trying to remember the names of all the people in the Democratic Party running for President in 2020 by focusing on a new set of candidates: the final five actors reportedly in the running to play rock and roll icon Elvis Presley in an upcoming biopic directed by Baz Luhrmann.
For the most part, with the exception of one famous boy band member, we know these stars for their acting roles, but here’s some proof they can sing and play music as well.
English actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson has already proven he can pull off singing live with a pompadour and a guitar in hand after playing another rock legend, John Lennon, in the 2009 film Nowhere Boy. The film’s director Sam Taylor-Johnson, who the actor married a couple years after shooting the film, confirmed to Vanity Fair in 2010 that he was not a musician prior to filming, but trained to learn everything necessary to embody the role. Hear him sing “Maggie Mae,” which would eventually become a Beatles song, in the clip above.
About as long as he’s been a famous actor, Ansel Elgort has moonlighted as DJ/singer Ansolo. Elgort has only had two songs chart on the Billboard Hot Hip Hop/R&B and Hot Dance/Electronic charts, but has found a way to marry his interests through roles like the titular Baby Driver, or Tony in Steven Spielberg‘s upcoming remake of West Side Story.
While series regular roles on past TV shows such as The Carrie Diaries and The Shannara Chronicles didn’t really make use of it, Austin Butler is multi-instrumentalist (violin, piano, and guitar) in his private life. The actor is the longtime boyfriend of actor/singer Vanessa Hudgens, and can be seen singing in multiple memorable guest roles on shows including iCarly and Are You There, Chelsea? (see the video above).
With someone like Harry Styles, who for the majority of the decade has been one of the superstar breakouts from the boy band One Direction, it may just be better to note how he displayed his acting chops in a surprisingly pivotal role in the 2017 Christopher Nolan WWII drama Dunkirk. Here he is above though, performing an acoustic version of his solo single “Kiwi.”
Miles Teller‘s breakout role was in the musical film Whiplash where he banged away at the drums at the orders of a menacing J.K. Simmons but did little singing. In the clip above from the ABC News show Popcorn with Peter Travers, not only does Teller prove he can hold a note, but he notably makes it clear how much he would love to play a young Elvis Presley.
As Warner Bros. narrows down its casting options, based on the clips above, who do you think should play Elvis Presley?
- Tom Hanks in talks to play Colonel Tom Parker in Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis film
- 17 actors who’ve played real-life rock stars
- Elvis Presley among Trump’s picks for Medal of Freedom recipients
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