Austin Butler says his role in Masters of the Air helped cleanse him after Elvis

Austin Butler in Masters of the Air
(Image credit: Apple)

After taking on such a massive role as Elvis Presley, Austin Butler needed to find a way to cleanse his acting palette, and it looks Apple TV+ World War 2 series Masters of the Air did just the trick. The series features in the 2024 preview issue of Total Film, which hits shelves this week. 

"I went immediately into boot camp. I went from being on stage in a jumpsuit to being just one of 50 guys in fatigues. It was really humbling, and there’s something about the uniformity that I think started to cleanse me," Butler told Total Film last year. 

The Elvis actor is referring to the intense boot camp that the band of actors went through when they arrived for filming in the UK in 2021, training together and learning the mechanics of flying. An experience Butler, fresh off obsessing over the King of Rock 'n' Roll, says was a "beautiful thing".

Based on the book 'Masters of the Air: America's Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany' by Donald L. Miller, the upcoming series follows a group of airmen deep in World War 2, as they risk their lives flying aircraft with the 100th Bomb Group, which would later become a brotherhood forged by bravery, grief, and great triumph. The cast also includes Saltburn's Barry Keoghan, Callum Turner, and Doctor Who's Ncuti Gatwa.

This seems like a world away from Baz Luhrmann's glitzy Elvis movie, which details the music legend's dazzling rise to fame, and later his troubles in the spotlight. Butler noticeably took the role very seriously and even adopted Presley's southern drawl, and was nominated for an Academy Award for his efforts.

Masters of the Air will premiere on Apple TV+ on January 26, 2024. Elvis is available to rent on Prime Video. For much more on the show, pick up a copy of the new issue of Total Film when it hits shelves on December 7. Inside, Total Film has a huge 2024 preview breakdown with exclusive insight into all of the biggest releases arriving in the new year. Check out the covers below:

Total Film's 2024 Preview and Review of the Year 2023

(Image credit: Total Film)

That's not all either, our 2023 Review of the Year supplement is also included, which features our round-up of the best films and TV shows of the year. Pre-order the issue here to bag your copy, or click here to subscribe to Total Film and never miss another exclusive. With our latest offer, you can get a JOBY Magnetic Wireless Charger worth £29.95 when you take out a print subscription.

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Editor-in-Chief, Total Film

Jane Crowther is a contributing editor to Total Film magazine, having formerly been the longtime Editor, as well as serving as the Editor-in-Chief of the Film Group here at Future Plc, which covers Total Film, SFX, and numerous TV and women's interest brands. Jane is also the vice-chair of The Critics' Circle and a BAFTA member. You'll find Jane on GamesRadar+ exploring the biggest movies in the world and living up to her reputation as one of the most authoritative voices on film in the industry. 

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