Austin Butler Ditched 'Top Gun: Maverick' for 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood'
Cover Images/Jennifer Graylock

Torn between Tom Cruise's actioner and Leonardo DiCaprio's dramedy, the 'Elvis' actor ultimately chose the latter as he didn't want to miss the chance to work with Quentin Tarantino.

AceShowbiz - Austin Butler was faced with tough choice between "Top Gun: Maverick" and "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood". The 32-year-old actor said he indeed had been in the running for the Tom Cruise-starring aviation sequel but was unable to test for the part because it clashed with the Quentin Tarantino movie.

"I ended up having to choose between going to the screen test for Top Gun: Maverick or saying yes to Quentin Tarantino," Austin said during a conversation with Josh Horowitz for his "Happy Sad Confused" podcast at The 92nd Street Y in New York.

Ultimately, because he had wanted to work with 60-year-old Tarantino "for so long," he opted to go for the 'Pulp Fiction' director's movie. He added, "I'd already met with him, so I did that."

Austin - who played Charles Watson, a member of Charles Manson's cult, in the movie - previously admitted it had "always" been a "dream" of his to work with the "Kill Bill" filmmaker, and he had a particularly memorable moment one day on set.

He said on "Hot Ones", "The first time that I heard this - it was just so cool, because I mean, I've talked a lot about how much Quentin meant to me, and it was just always my dream to work with him. But he, we're on set and he says, 'Okay we got it, but we're gonna do one more. You know why?' And the entire crew screams, 'Because we love making movies!' "

"And the first time you're thereā€¦ you're not in on it. And so, Brad [Pitt] and Leo [DiCaprio], everybody is like, 'Because we love making movies!' There are sets that are so sterile. There are sets where there is no joy. There are sets where people are like, just at a job."

"And you're trying to create something that you're gonna give to the world, you know? And with Quentin, that was so cool, because it just changes the atoms in the room. And then you're in on it! And so every new crew member, or actor, whoever, then suddenly they're part of the tribe at that point, saying 'We love making movies.' "

"Top Gun: Maverick" casting director, Denise Chamian, previously told Variety that Austin had been up for the role of Rooster, which ultimately went to Miles Teller.

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