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Austin Butler says he lost sleep over Elvis Presley role

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Austin Butler and Tom Hanks discussed "Elvis," a new film directed by Baz Luhrmann, on "Good Morning America." File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/210e8a21c23f154633b905e3ee1c1075/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Austin Butler and Tom Hanks discussed "Elvis," a new film directed by Baz Luhrmann, on "Good Morning America." File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

June 13 (UPI) -- Austin Butler says he lost sleep after taking on the role of rock and roll legend Elvis Presley.

The 30-year-old actor discussed playing Presley in Baz Luhrmann's new film Elvis during Monday's episode of Good Morning America.

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Butler appeared on GMA with his Elvis co-star Tom Hanks. Elvis is a biographical musical drama that explores Presley's life and career through the eyes of his manager, Col. Tom Parker (Hanks).

"It was the most intimidating thing I've ever done," Butler said of playing Presley. "I honestly didn't sleep for about two years, and I didn't do anything else for that time. That was my life."

Butler also discussed working with Hanks, an Oscar-winning actor known for such films as Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan and The Green Mile.

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"I don't know a time in my life when I didn't know who Tom was. He feels like a part of my family because of the amount of times I've seen him on my TV from the time I was born," Butler said.

"Just thinking of the amount of films I've admired -- he's my hero," he added. "Then getting to be in the same room of Tom? He surpassed any idea I had."

Elvis also stars Helen Thomson, Richard Roxburgh and Olivia DeJonge. The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May and will open in theaters June 24.

Butler is known for playing Sebastian Kydd on The Carrie Diaries and Wil Ohmsford on The Shannara Chronicles.

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