Austin Butler Says He’s Getting Rid of His Infamous Elvis Voice After It Damaged His Vocal Cords
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The end of an era is upon us: Austin Butler is officially retiring the IRL manifestation of his now-infamous Elvis voice.
Some context, in case you need it: Austin stars as Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann’s biopic about the singer, aptly titled Elvis. Austin underwent a massive, life-changing transformation to embody the late music icon, including spending hours studying old footage of Elvis to master the singer’s real-life accent and mannerisms. He then spent two years working on the film and basically living every day as Elvis, which meant that by the time the movie was finally released and it was time for Austin to work the awards season circuit to promote it, he had ended up internalizing the Elvis voice (including the deep tone and distinct Southern drawl) and mannerisms to a degree that was, to be fully honest, impossible *not* to notice.
Because the internet exists, this collective awe/confusion about Austin’s Elvis-y voice became a viral topic, spawning tweets, Reddit threads, and YouTube videos comparing his pre- and post-Elvis voices:
Fast-forward to now, and Austin has officially gone on the record saying that he’s getting rid of his Elvis accent, which has apparently become something he is pretty self-conscious about and also believes has permanently damaged his vocal cords.
“People pull clips from when I was 17,” Austin said of the public reaction to his enduring Elvis voice during a recent appearance on The Graham Norton Show. “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. And it really made me self-conscious for a second because I thought, Am I being phony? Is this not my voice?”
Austin went on to say that his voice sounds different in different situations and with different people (particularly in relaxed conversations with family and friends vs. high-pressure on-camera interviews) and that even if elements of the Elvis voice have lingered in his speech, it’s definitely not a conscious decision.
And as for the lingering Elvis-y things about his real-life voice? Don’t get used to them because Austin confirmed that he’s definitely shedding his Elvis accent IRL.
“I am getting rid of the accent, but I have probably damaged my vocal cords with all that singing,” he said.
RIP, Austin Butler’s Elvis Voice. RIP.
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