Elvis star Austin Butler’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood role remembered

Christopher Weston

There are a handful of directors so celebrated that it’s hard to imagine any actor – no matter how established – not wanting to work with them.

Indeed, Quentin Tarantino is amongst them.

Ever since his directorial feature debut Reservoir Dogs, the American filmmaker has been championed by critics and audiences alike, going on to work with some of the biggest actors on the planet – from Samuel L. Jackson to Robert De Niro.

For example, his most recent feature showcased the talents of Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Al Pacino and more. However, you may not have been familiar with a lesser-known actor when you watched it.

Now that he’s been cast in Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis biopic, that will change. So, let’s spotlight Austin Butler’s part in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.


still from ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: A Love Letter To Making Movies’, Sony Pictures Entertainment

Austin Butler’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood role

The character of Tex was played by Austin Butler.

He may not have had a lot of screen time, but his performance is intense and brooding. We first meet him at Spahn Ranch, as Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) escorts someone home who lives there with Tex and others.

When Cliff gets into a violent confrontation with one of the hippies, somebody goes in search of Tex and requests him to come and handle the situation. It establishes him as somewhat of an authority at the ranch, but Cliff is driving away when he arrives on the scene.

Accompanied by two Manson family members, he later enters Rick Dalton’s house and attempts to kill Cliff Booth and the others inside. However, Cliff and his trusted canine Brandy take him down while he, Rick, and his partner Francesca take the rest of them on.

The character of Tex is based on the real-life Manson family member Charles Denton “Tex” Watson.

“I was there for almost 12 hours”

Speaking with WWD, Austin reminisced the audition process for the film and just how unconventional it was.

“Normally you go into an audition and you’re there for 20 minutes and you’re gone. I was there for almost 12 hours, and he gave me the job at the end of the day. Which never happens.”

He continued: “We did a handshake deal at the end of the day and he said, ‘Do you want to do it?’ And I said, ‘Yes, you just made my life’ and I gave him a hug. And then I got back on a plane, went straight to the theatre and did a show that night, on a Tuesday.”

Elvis | Official Trailer

Austin takes on the king

A trailer recently invited audiences to peak a glimpse at Austin’s portrayal of the one and only Elvis Presley.

The biopic will focus on Elvis’ relationship with his manager Colonel Tom Parker, portrayed by Tom Hanks. It’s been billed as a biographical musical drama and the likes of Helen Thomson, Richard Roxburgh, Olivia DeJonge, and more will also star.

It is set to arrive on screens on Friday, June 24th 2022.

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