Austin Butler Says He Had To Choose: Screen Testing For ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Or ‘Saying Yes To Quentin Tarantino’

Austin Butler
Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Actor Austin Butler recently discussed a time he had to make a difficult decision between working with Tom Cruise or Quentin Tarantino.

The 32-year-old celebrity revealed what happened during an appearance on the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast, People reported. Butler, who’s best known for his Oscar-nominated performance in the biopic “Elvis,” clarified the rumors that he’d been up for a part in the blockbuster “Top Gun: Maverick.”

“I ended up having to choose between going to the screen test for ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ or saying yes to Quentin Tarantino,” he said, explaining how he was set to appear in “Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood” at the time.

“I’d already met with [Tarantino], so I did that,” Butler said of how he decided which of the two potentially life-changing options to pick. Butler played Charles “Tex” Watson, a member of Charles Manson’s cult, in Tarantino’s movie. 

“Maverick” went on to rake in over $1.4 billion in gross revenue worldwide, making it the second-highest-grossing film of 2022 and the highest-grossing of Cruise’s career. This fact doesn’t mean Butler has any regrets, however. He said he wouldn’t have starred opposite Cruise as Rooster anyway. That part wound up going to Miles Teller. 

“Top Gun: Maverick” and “Elvis” casting director Denise Chamian told Variety in July 2022 that everything worked out the way it was supposed to.

“The thing that he got the closest to was ‘Top Gun,’” Chamian told the outlet. “When I cast that, we were looking for the role that Miles Teller played. I felt so passionate about Austin. Ultimately, his audition was shown to Tom and all the filmmakers. They agreed he had something and they were happy to know him, but they thought he was too young.”

“At that point, I saw that this actor has something very special that other people don’t always have,” she continued. “It’s almost the way he looks into the camera. He knows the camera and lets the camera see him, and that is really what is so captivating.”


That audition made her think of Butler for the part of Elvis, which eventually led to him being nominated for an Academy Award for the role. 

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Austin Butler Says He Had To Choose: Screen Testing For ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Or ‘Saying Yes To Quentin Tarantino’