Austin Butler's vocal coach cleared the air about his new Elvis voice.

Austin Butler Could Possibly Sound Like Elvis... Forever

His voice coach defended that viral Globes speech.

Rich Polk/NBC/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

The Austin Butler voice-change saga continues. Since the release of Elvis in 2022, Butler has been deep in his Elvis Presley bag — literally. Not only did he win a 2023 Golden Globe for his impressive role, but he’s also embodied the late singer’s Southern accent. Butler’s new raspy drawl made a guest appearance during his acceptance speech for the award, and the internet buzzed with theories that he’s either stuck with this voice or putting on a show. However, according to Butler’s voice coach Irene Bartlett, his new voice is authentic.

On Jan. 16, Bartlett spoke with ABC’s Gold Coast about Butler’s lingering accent. Bartlett — who worked with the actor throughout the film — said Butler formed a deep connection to his role, and that diligence helped shape his speaking voice.

“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,” Bartlett said. “When he came into his singing lessons, he was dressed in ‘50s-style gear.” OK, he deserves an award of dedication for that alone.

Rich Polk/NBC/NBCUniversal/Getty Images

Her words echo that of Butler, who told GQ in May 2022 that he emulated the singer for three years. In the interview, Bartlett also added that Butler and Elvis director Baz Luhrmann didn’t want his portrayal to feel like an impersonation, but rather a genuine extension of the late singer. By finding the “efficiency and authenticity” in his tone, Bartlett was able to train Butler’s speaking and singing voice to that of Elvis.

That coaching certainly worked for Butler, who dipped into that Southern drawl while at this year’s Golden Globes. ICYMI, the actor won Best Actor in a Motion Picture for his portrayal in the film. “What you saw in that Golden Globes speech, that’s him,” Bartlett said. “It’s genuine, it’s not put on.”

While this training was beneficial in helping him tell Elvis’ story, there seems to be a potential downside. As a result of Butler’s vocal training, Bartlett noted there’s no telling how long he’ll continue to sound like Elvis. “I feel sorry people are saying that, you know, it's still acting [but] he's actually taken [the voice] on board," Bartlett said. "I don’t know how long that will last, or if it’s going to be there forever.”

This would probably be a challenge for Butler, especially since he doesn’t think he sounds like the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. “I don’t even think about it. I don’t think I sound like him still, but I guess I must because I hear it a lot,” he said shortly after his Golden Globe win. However, he did claim people might still hear similarities since there’s still pieces of Elvis’ DNA linked to him.

Knowing just how attentive and unwavering Butler was to acing the roll, his Golden Globe win makes even more perfect sense.