Search icon

Movies & TV

28th Feb 2023

Austin Butler details Quentin Tarantino’s unique audition process

Stephen Porzio

Butler had a small but very memorable role in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Alongside Brendan Fraser for The Whale and Colin Farrell for The Banshees of Inisherin, Austin Butler is widely considered one of the major contenders to take home the Best Actor Oscar this year for his role in Elvis, in which he plays The King of Rock and Roll himself.

In the lead-up to the Oscar ceremony on 13 March, Variety published an interview with Butler where he talks about his career, including his pre-Elvis performance as Manson Family member Tex Watson in Quentin Tarantino’s comedy-drama epic Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

In the process, the actor shared some fascinating details about Tarantino’s process for auditioning people.

Butler said that working with the legendary writer-director was a longtime dream of his but that he did not know what role in Once Upon a Time he was applying for at first.

“They actually sent me the scene Timothy Olyphant does in the movie, it’s within the fictional film in the film. I had no idea what the movie was, so I assumed it was a Western,” the performer told Variety.

“They wanted me to film both parts, playing the good guy and the bad guy. So I set up the camera and did the scene with myself to a mark on the wall.”


Butler in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

The day after sending the self-tape to the producers, Butler was invited to fly to Los Angeles to meet with Tarantino.

“I went and they took my phone and everything away and that’s when I learned I was auditioning for Tex Watson,” he recounted.

“Quentin came in and most auditions last 10 minutes if you’re lucky. I was there from like 9am to 9pm.

“He doesn’t record auditions, he really works with you and looks at you. It’s the same way on set, he doesn’t look through a monitor.

“I was supposed to have two other meetings that day and because I didn’t have my phone, my agent was worried. But at the end of the day, Quentin told me I had the part and gave me a hug. Then I got back on a plane.”

You can watch some of Butler’s performance in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood below.

Meanwhile, you can check out JOE’s chat with Butler for Elvis right here:

Related articles:

LISTEN: You Must Be Jokin’ with Aideen McQueen – Faith healers, Coolock craic and Gigging as Gaeilge