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Recently, Austin Butler reflected on how he retired his infamous Elvis accent as he readied his new ...

Austin Butler Had To Hire A Dialect Coach To Lose His Elvis Accent

“I was just trying to remember who I was.”

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Austin Butler’s Elvis era was a moment. Well, maybe not for his vocal cords. When Butler starred in Baz Luhrmann’s 2022 film about the late musician, it seemed he actually became him. His commitment to acing Elvis’ mannerisms and Southern drawl followed him long after the movie’s release, and fans began to ask one question: Did his voice always sound like that? Butler’s distinctive accent did eventually seem to fade over time, and recently, he shared the strategy that helped him retire that cadence.

In a Jan. 24 appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Butler reflected on his time becoming Elvis. He revealed that during the final days of filming the Oscar-nominated drama, he had dinner with Tom Hanks in Australia. There, Hanks teased that Butler “was going to lose his mind” now that Elvis was about to wrap up, as he spent three years transforming into the lead character.

Hanks encouraged Butler to quickly find another film or show to work on. And he did — one week after he finished Elvis, he took on a lead role in Hanks and Steven Spielberg’s World War II project, Masters of the Air. He stars as pilot Major Gale “Buck” Cleven in the Apple TV+ series.

According to Butler, that quick turnaround between the two projects was “a lot” for him, especially in the vocal department. He turned to the pros to finally shake off the Southern drawl he’d been so connected to for years. “I had a dialect coach just to help me not sound like Elvis in [Masters of the Air].”

Warner Bros. Pictures

However, working with a coach wasn’t an overnight fix. Butler revealed that his method acting in Elvis consumed most of his personality. “I was just trying to remember who I was,” he said. “I was trying to remember what I liked to do. All I thought about was Elvis for three years. I flew to London and, at that time, it was COVID so I’m quarantined for 10 days. I thought: ‘Alright, just pour all this energy into learning about World War II now.’”

Butler’s changing voice was a social media-wide conversation topic during his public appearances in 2023. It was most notable at that year’s Golden Globes, where he accepted his Best Actor in a Motion Picture win for Elvis with his accent on full display. His cadence was so potent his Elvis voice coach, Irene Bartlett, feared he might sound like the “Jailhouse Rock” singer for the rest of his life.

Butler appeared to have his own worries, as he revealed on The Graham Norton Show in February of that year that the role possibly “damaged his vocal cords.” Now, he seems to finally be free of Elvis’ husky-toned reign.

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