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Austin Butler’s Career-Defining Choice: Tarantino Over ‘Top Gun: Maverick’


Austin Butler’s Career-Defining Choice: Tarantino Over ‘Top Gun: Maverick’

Key Takeaways:

  • Austin Butler faced a tough decision between a screen test for ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ and a role in Quentin Tarantino’s film.
  • He chose Tarantino, leading to his role in ‘Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood’.
  • This decision, despite missing out on ‘Top Gun’, put him on the radar for his Oscar-nominated role in ‘Elvis’.
  • Both ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ and ‘Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood’ achieved box office success and awards recognition.
  • Butler’s upcoming projects include ‘Masters of the Air’ on Apple TV+ and ‘Dune: Part Two’.

In a recent revelation that highlights the unpredictable nature of Hollywood casting, actor Austin Butler shared his career-defining decision to work with Quentin Tarantino over a potential role in ‘Top Gun: Maverick’. This choice not only shaped Butler’s career trajectory but also offers insight into the intricate decision-making processes in the film industry.

A Career-Altering Decision

Austin Butler, now a global star following his Oscar-nominated performance in ‘Elvis’, once faced a dilemma that would pivot his career in a significant direction. In an interview on the ‘Happy Sad Confused’ podcast, Butler disclosed that he was in the running to star opposite Tom Cruise in the blockbuster ‘Top Gun: Maverick’. However, a simultaneous offer from Quentin Tarantino for a role in ‘Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood’ presented a challenging choice.

Choosing Artistic Aspiration Over Blockbuster Appeal

Butler’s decision to work with Tarantino, a director he had long admired, meant turning down the screen test for ‘Top Gun: Maverick’. This choice led to his portrayal of Charles Manson cult member Charles Watson in Tarantino’s film. Interestingly, ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ casting director Denise Chamian later revealed that Butler was considered too young for the role of Rooster, ultimately played by Miles Teller. However, this interaction with Chamian paved the way for Butler’s casting in ‘Elvis’.

The Impact of Choices in Hollywood

This story underscores the impact of choices in an actor’s career. Both ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ and ‘Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood’ went on to be major successes, with the former grossing $1.49 billion and becoming one of the highest-grossing movies of all time. Tarantino himself expressed his admiration for ‘Top Gun: Maverick’, despite Butler’s absence from the film.

Looking Ahead

Austin Butler’s career continues to flourish with his role in the upcoming Apple TV+ series ‘Masters of the Air’ and his appearance in ‘Dune: Part Two’. His journey exemplifies the importance of strategic choices in shaping an actor’s path and the unpredictable nature of film casting.

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