Ever since Austin Butler starred as Elvis in 2022, his fans have wondered exactly what happened to his voice. If you somehow missed it: the 32-year-old actor dropped his accent in preparation for the role. (Butler hails from California, while the King of Rock was born in Mississippi.) The result? Butler nailed Presley's husky, southern drawl. His work in Elvis led to a Golden Globe win for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama, but a year and some change later, his voice still sometimes resembles Presley's growl.
In Esquire’s latest cover story, Butler set the record straight. “There’s no denying you create habits,” he said. Before filming Elvis, Butler watched footage of Presley and practiced the singer's voice. Then, he worked with his dialect coach to perfect Elvis's tone. When Butler's time as Elvis was up, he worked just as hard to undo what he learned. After Elvis wrapped, Butler jetted to London to film Apple TV+'s Masters of the Air, where he played real-life World War II hero Major Buck Cleven, a pilot who called South Dakota home. In other words? Butler was professionally obligated to drop the accent, going as far to hire another another dialect coach to help with the untethering.
“I had been practicing one way of using the muscles in my mouth for a long time,” he said. So it was a process of trying to unlearn those.” Since then, Butler has managed to lose the southern twang to star in not only, Masters of the Air, but Dune: Part Two. Something tells us the Elvis drawl would sound a little out of place in Arrakis.
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