Oscar Actors: Butler, Austin–Getting Rid of “Elvis” Accent for Good?

I’m Getting Rid of the Elvis Accent, but ‘I’ve Probably Damaged My Vocal Cords’

ELVIS, Austin Butler as Elvis Presley, 2022. © Warner Bros. / courtesy Everett Collection
©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

Oscar nominee Austin Butler will not sound like Elvis anymore. The 31-year-old actor announced on an episode of BBC One’s “Graham Norton Show” that he is getting rid of the accent that has mystified, confused and enthralled social media for months on end now.

“I am getting rid of the accent, but I have probably damaged my vocal cords with all that singing,” Butler said. “One song took 40 takes.”

Butler added, “It made me self-conscious for a second because I thought, ‘Am I being phony? Is this not my voice?’”

Butler’s “Elvis voice” has been the talk of social media since last May when Baz Luhrmann’s musical biopic “Elvis” world premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. The actor had the same deep, sultry drawl in “Elvis” press interviews as he did playing the King of Rock and Roll in the film. The accent carried over into the summer as “Elvis” opened in theaters, and it remained at last month’s Golden Globes, where Butler won the award for best actor in a motion picture drama.

“It’s hard for me to talk about,” Butler told E! News on the Globes carpet when asked about his voice not being the same after working on “Elvis.” “I can’t really reflect on it too much. I don’t know the difference.”

Butler was asked again about his voice backstage in the press room after he won the Globe. The actor said, “I don’t think I sound like him still, but I guess I must because I hear it a lot.”

“I often liken it to when somebody lives in another country for a long time,” Butler said. “I had three years where Elvis was my only focus in life, so I’m sure there’s just pieces of my DNA that will always be linked in that way.”

Butler adopted Method acting in order to play Elvis, fully immersing himself in the character for nearly three years of prep work. His “Dune: Part Two” co-star Dave Bautista recently confirmed that Butler dropped the Elvis voice for his performance as Feyd-Rautha.

“He’s just the sweetest guy you’ll ever meet,” Bautista told USA Today about Butler. “I don’t know who this guy was, but it’s not Austin Butler. It’s not Elvis. His voice is different, his look is different. Everything about his demeanor is terrifying.”

“Elvis” is now streaming on HBO Max.