Why Is Austin Butler Still Speaking Like This?!

Why Is Austin Butler Still Speaking Like This?!

Well folks, it’s official: Austin Butler’s Elvis voice is here to stay. The actor's voice coach, Irene Bartlett, recently appeared on ABC’s Gold Coast Radio show, where she said that Butler's new accent could “be there forever.”

Last week, Butler won Best Actor at the Golden Globes for his role in Elvis, which, you know, good for him! But his low-pitched acceptance speech went viral, and left myself (and many others) wondering if the King of Rock is somehow trapped in his vocal chords. “My boy, my boy,” Butler crooned as he walked on stage. “I just am so grateful right now.” After acknowledging everyone from The Hollywood Foreign Press, to the film's director, Baz Luhrman—plus Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, the Presley family, and even his own—Butler thanked the man who inspired his now-permanent drawl. “Lastly, Elvis Presley himself, you were an icon and a rebel and I love you so much,” he said.

According to Bartlett, Butler’s voice, though undeniably... different, is authentic. “What you saw in that Golden Globes speech, that’s him,” Barlette said. “It’s genuine, it’s not put on. I feel sorry people are saying that, you know it’s still acting [but] he’s actually taken [the voice of Presely] on board.

Once Butler exited stage, viewers at home went on Twitter to discuss.

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Despite the public's dismay, it doesn’t sound like Butler plans to ditch the voice any time soon. In an interview after the Golden Globes, the actor said, “I had three years where that was my only focus, so I’m sure there’s pieces of him in my DNA and I’ll always be linked.” Butler reportedly trained extensively for the role and adopted Elvis's voice to feel connected to the singer. Earlier this year, he spoke about the experience in an interview with Janelle Monae for Variety’s Actors on Actors series. “During Elvis, I didn’t see my family for about three years,” he said. “I had months where I wouldn’t talk to anybody, and when I did, the only thing I was ever thinking about was Elvis.” Bartlett confirmed that Butler was committed to perfecting the singer’s tone. “Because of COVID shutdowns, he was working on it all the time and it’s difficult to switch something you’ve spent so much focus [and] time on,” she said.

Before Butler went all Daniel Day-Lewis on us, his voice really was noticeably different. Fans of the actor will remember how he sounded in The Carrie Diaries, or even the instant classic, Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure. Though both projects released over a decade ago, it’s hard to forget such a drastic change in pitch. Though if Butler’s explanation is correct, I have some bad news for you. It takes roughly two months to form a habit—and he’s far past that. So maybe it’s time we just accept it. The Elvis voice is his voice now. At least, until he shows up on Arrakis.

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