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Austin Butler explains why he thinks he still sounds like Elvis

Austin Butler explains why he thinks he still sounds like Elvis

His voice still seems to have retained some of that Elvis twang

Austin Butler has explained why he thinks he still sounds like Elvis after playing the singer in Baz Luhrmann’s biopic, saying he believes there’s a very simple reason.

Butler, 31, won the Golden Globe for Best Actor for his turn as the King of Rock and Roll, but his triumph was slightly overshadowed by the bizarre twang his voice seemed to still have.

The actor, who is from California, worked hard to nail the distinctive voice for Elvis, having worked with voice coach Associate Professor Irene Bartlett, from Griffith University, to get it bang on for the movie.

However, it seems it’s been hard to shake off – something Butler has addressed in a new interview on The Graham Norton Show.

Host Norton noted how the Elvis voice was ‘still very present’ when he saw him recently, and that it’s been something widely-discussed by others.

However, he argued you could hear ‘a lot less of it now’, to which a grateful Butler replied: “I’m glad you say that! I hear it all the time!”

When Norton asked if it would eventually go, and whether or not he’d actively tried to get rid of it, he explained there was a key, physical reason why it had stuck around.

Butler as Elvis.
Warner Bros. Pictures

“I try to stay off social media, so my publicist told me, ‘You know people are talking about your voice and these sorts of things?’” he said.

“And it really made me self-conscious for a second because I thought, ‘Am I being phony, is this not my voice?’”

Butler said he would have to ‘think consciously’ to not talk how he was during the interview, but that people’s voices often change depending on context.

“My voice sounds different when I talk to my dog, when I talk to my dad or when I’m here right now,” he said.

“We all have different bits of ourselves that we’re releasing.”

Butler also said he was much ‘older’ now, compared to viral clips from when he was younger that people have used to illustrate the change.

“The other thing is I think from all the singing, I probably have destroyed my voice a bit – you know, my vocal chords. It’s a lot raspier now, yeah.”

Butler discussed the matter on The Graham Norton Show.

He explained he had simply had to ‘train a lot’, saying one song even took 40 takes.

His vocal coach has also weighed in on the topic.

Bartlett previously said: "It's very easy to be an impersonator because what you do is literally copy the sounds and the problem with that for someone like Austin is that it would not be sustainable."

When questioned why she thinks Austin might still be in ‘Elvis mode’, she said he had spent years working on the accent to make it just right, which was bound to end up having a lasting impression.

"Because of Covid shutdowns he was working on it all the time, and it's difficult to switch off something you've spent so much focus time on," she said.

As for how long the accent will stick with Austin, Dr Bartlett says it’s anyone’s guess - but one thing she does know is that he’s not faking it.

"What you saw in that Golden Globes speech, that's him,” she said. “It's genuine, it's not put on."

She added: "I feel sorry people are saying that, you know, it's still acting [but] he's actually taken [the voice] on board.

"I don't know how long that will last, or if it's going to be there forever."

Featured Image Credit: BBC / Warner Bros

Topics: TV And Film, Celebrity