Austin Butler says he ‘probably damaged’ vocal cords playing Elvis role

Austin Butler has said “I probably damaged my vocal cords” while playing the role of Elvis Presley in the Oscar-nominated biopic of the singer.

The 31-year-old American actor recently received a best actor Oscar nod for his portrayal of the King of Rock and Roll in the Baz Luhrmann-directed film, Elvis, which was released last summer.

Speaking on The Graham Norton Show, Butler acknowledged the Tennessee accent has partially stuck with him since filming, saying: “I am getting rid of the accent, but I have probably damaged my vocal cords with all that singing. One song took 40 takes.”

On the film’s reception and its eight Oscar nominations, Butler said: “It has been a whirlwind and it’s amazing because when you are making a film you never really know how it will be received.

“With this one there were so many ways it could go wrong so to be received in the way it has means the world to me.”

In the film, Butler stars alongside Tom Hanks, who plays Presley’s infamous manager Colonel Tom Parker.

“I had no idea what it was going to be like meeting someone you have admired for so long,” Butler said of working with 66-year-old Hanks.

He added: “You hope they would be warm to you, but you never really know.

Elvis Presleys biopic
Austin Butler as Elvis Presley (Warner Bros. UK/PA)

“He is such a master of his craft, and I was intimidated, but the first time I met him he gave me the biggest bear hug and joked about how nervous he was.

“When I said I was terrified, he said: ‘And, nobody knows what Colonel Parker sounds like, but everyone knows what Elvis sounds like!’”

Other guests appearing on the BBC show include Everything Everywhere All At Once star Michelle Yeoh, Scottish actor Jack Lowden, Diversity star Ashley Banjo and Brit-nominated Mimi Webb.

The Graham Norton Show airs on BBC One on Friday at 10.40pm.