Austin Butler landed the role of a lifetime when he starred in Elvis as the rock and roll icon. But it seems the film left a lasting impression on Austin, in more ways than one, and fans have taken notice.
Despite filming wrapping in March 2021, Austin hasn't been able to shake his Elvis voice from his system. His new baritone Southern drawl has been receiving a lot of attention, but some people are wondering if it's permanent.
In a new interview with ABC Gold Coast, Austin's singing coach, Irene Bartlett, explained why his voice still sounds like it did in the film.
“Because of COVID shutdowns, he was working on it all the time and it’s difficult to switch off something you’ve spent so much focus [and] time on," Irene said.
"You know, when he came into his singing lessons, he was dressed in '50s-style gear. He was never going to be — and [director] Baz Luhrmann didn’t want him to be — an Elvis impersonator, that’s the last thing they wanted him to be."
Baz and Irene's true mission for Austin was for him to truly connect with Elvis's personality and story, and in their eyes, that's what he did.
During the process, Austin even admitted that his immense commitment to the role caused him to "lose touch" with who he actually was.
He added, "I had three years where that was my only focus in life, so I’m sure there’s just pieces of my DNA that will always be linked in that way."
Well, whether you love Austin's new voice or can't stand it, there's one thing I'm sure we can all agree on: His performance was phenomenal!
If you haven't already, check out Austin in Elvis, which is currently streaming on HBO Max.
Correction: An earlier version of this article labeled Irene Bartlett as Austin's voice coach, but she was actually his singing coach. Erik Singer was Austin's voice coach for Elvis.
UPDATE: Austin's voice coach Erik Singer spoke with BuzzFeed, adding this note about the actor and his lasting accent:
"Austin is a deeply gifted actor, who approached the challenge of a lifetime in the smartest possible way (over the course of the ten months we worked intensively together on it). With regard to Elvis’ voice and accent, he did everything the right way around: a deep, deep dive into the specifics and mechanics, followed by a nice long period of time of integrating it and letting it sink in deeper and deeper. The final piece, of course, is letting it go—only possible because of the dedicated commitment to laying a detailed foundation—so that you can truly let go and be free within the shape you have created."