Can’t escape the king! Austin Butler went through rigorous training while preparing for his role in the 2022 Elvis Presley biopic – and his voice hasn’t been the same since.
In July 2019, it was announced that the Once upon a time… in Hollywood actor would play the legendary late musician in the Bass Luhrmann movie. When shooting for the project began in early 2020, Luhrmann gushed about his lead actor and his take on Elvis Presley.
“I always avoid stepping in and announcing the work we’re doing before we do it, but throughout the testing process, his commitment, his transformative skills from young Elvis to beyond, he played so well,” says the Moulin Rouge director said deadline in March 2020. “He was amazing. There was so much energy and excitement in the cast and company about the show we were going to shoot.
Prior to filming, Butler studied the mannerisms of the “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You” crooner and his voice. In addition to playing the character, he also sang on the soundtrack. In June 2022, The Shannara Chronicles star opened up about all the training he went through to master Elvis’ distinct sound.
“I sang every day [while preparing and filming] and would do my singing practice first thing in the morning,” he said Weekly entertainment in June 2022. “It really is like a muscle. Filming made me start noticing notes that I couldn’t hit at first, suddenly I could hit those notes. I was broadening my reach. But it’s not just singing – you have to find vocal mannerisms. That can be a bit tricky.”
After the movie premiered, Butler’s “Elvis voice” became a hot topic of discussion for not dropping the act. When the Switched at birth alum hosted Saturday Night Live in December 2022, he mocked himself and his “new voice.”
“There are people who say that since I played Elvis, my voice has changed,” Butler joked in his monologue. “That it got deeper, more Elvis-y, but that’s not true. I’ve always sounded like this!”
That next month, Butler’s voice coach, Irene Bartlettdefended her client and praised all the hard work he put into his portrayal – which ultimately earned him his first-ever Golden Globe award.
“What you saw in it  Golden Globes speech, that’s him. It’s real, it’s not affixed,” she shared, referring to Butler’s acceptance speech at the awards ceremony. “I’m sorry people say that, you know, it’s still acting [but] he is actually busy [the voice] on-board. I don’t know how long that will last, or if it will be there forever.
In February 2023, the former Disney star revealed that he was trying to shake off his Elvis dialect while appearing on BBC One. The Graham Norton Show.
“I’m getting rid of the accent, but I probably damaged my vocal cords from all that singing,” he confessed. “One song took 40 takes.”
Keep scrolling to see everything Butler has ever said about his voice: