Photoshoots > 2023 > Session 23 | Interview Magazine
Austin Butler has “movie star” written all over him. It’s in his face, genetically engineered to smolder. It’s in his backstory, a California kid who paid his dues on the Disney-Nickelodeon-CW circuit until Denzel Washington brought him to Broadway, and Quentin Tarantino invited him back to Hollywood. It’s in his commitment, on full display in his wild and undeniable portrayal of Elvis, which earned him his first Oscar nomination and maybe a new voice. It’s in his taste, following up his star-making role by playing the bald, alabaster heavy Feyd-Rautha in Dune: Part Two, and the heir to a motorcycle gang in this winter’s The Bikeriders. And it’s in his charisma, that inexplicable, magnetic quality that draws people to him like a tractor beam. Just ask his Dune: Part Two costar Josh Brolin.
FRIDAY 10 AM JULY 14 , 2023 NYC
JOSH BROLIN: What’s up, buddy?
AUSTIN BUTLER: Man, I’m so happy to see you.
BROLIN: I’m so happy to see you, too.
BUTLER: Are you back in Los Angeles?
BROLIN: No, I’m in ATL. I was in Santa Fe for four months, then New York, which was strange, because I wouldn’t normally think this, but it was inspiring, like oxygen. Then we went to Martha’s Vineyard, which I stayed away from for a very long time because I thought it was elitist. It turns out that it’s quite the opposite. It’s gnarly, scrappy.
BROLIN: Yeah. You have droves of tourists that come for the summer, and when they all leave, what’s left is 15,000 fucking severe Massachusetts people. But I miss home. I miss our California, man.
BUTLER: Has this all been vacation, or are you working in all these places?
BROLIN: I was working. I have to tell you something, though. This morning I had this deep urge to text you and say, “Hey man, sorry, I can’t do this morning.” It’s an urge to create chaos before intimacy.
BUTLER: I have the same thing.
BROLIN: That’s why I’m telling you.
BUTLER: Well, I’m glad you didn’t.
BROLIN: It happened immediately. I was going to be like, “I’m sorry I didn’t respond to your text last night, I’m not going to be able to do this today, I hope that we can do it in the future.”
BUTLER: Was it just upon waking?
BROLIN: Yeah. It was like, open my eyes, listen to my 2-year-old sleep-breathing, so there was an ecstasy that came with that, and then I said, “How do I equalize this ecstasy by creating chaos?” You were the first person that popped into my head.
BUTLER: [Laughs] An agent of chaos.
BROLIN: Well, thank you for asking me to do this.
BUTLER: There’s nobody I’d rather be having this conversation with. From that first time we met, when you knocked on my trailer door and we ended up talking for three hours, it felt like we were deeply connected, like I’ve always known you.
BROLIN: This doesn’t happen very often, especially in this day and age, but a whole series of people told me, “You have to meet Austin.” You take it personally, like, “They’re all saying it to me.” But it turns out they were saying it to everybody, because everybody was getting off on you. And the anomaly factor is that you’re very, very good at what you do, and you’re young, which is a rarity, but then you’re kind, which is even more of a rarity. And then on top of it, you’re not a dickhead actor who’s so into his art that he can’t be kind to anybody else, which I never understood.