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29 January 2024, 11:15
Elvis movie: Baz Luhrmann and Austin Butler on the King's journey to big screen
The young actor was 'fixated' on Elvis for three years and struggled to get rid of his voice after filming ended.
The actor, 32, who famously played The King in the Oscar-nominated movie, made headlines after struggling to transition back to his own voice after filming the movie.
During Wednesday's episode of the TV show The Late Show, the actor revealed that he sought professional assistance to break free from speaking like Elvis.
"I had a dialect coach just to help me not sound like Elvis in that film," he shared, acknowledging the challenge of shedding the singer's manner of speaking that still lingered months later.
Austin's newly acquired voice drew widespread attention when he accepted a Golden Globe for his performance in January 2023.
Despite fans speculating that he was intentionally adopting the voice, his vocal coach, Irene Bartlett, publicly refused the claims.
"It’s genuine, it’s not put on," she said in an ABC Gold Coast interview, adding that it’s "difficult to switch off something you’ve spent so much focus time on".
Last year, Austin acknowledged that despite thinking he no longer sounded like Elvis, the reactions to his voice surprised him, and speculated that the amount of singing for Elvis might have caused damage to his vocal cords.
Appearing on The Graham Norton Show in February 2023, Butler said of the gruelling schedule that scenes were filmed over and over again until they were perfect.
Watch Austin Butler transform in the Elvis trailer
Speaking alongside fellow guests Michelle Yeoh, Mini Webb, Ashley Banjo and Jack Lowden, Butler gave an insight into his Elvis role.
"I am getting rid of the accent," he explained, "but I have probably damaged my vocal cords with all that singing. One song took 40 takes!"
In an earlier interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Butler explained his fear of not doing Elvis's voice justice.
"When I began the process, I set out to get my voice to be identical. That instils fear. So that got the fire burning,” Butler said.
"For a year before we started shooting, I was doing voice coaching."
Director Baz Luhrmann did point out that it was Butler singing as young Elvis, but when he aged they blended Butler's vocals with Elvis's original vocal recordings.
"I watched as much as I could, over and over," Butler continued, going into detail about the hours of study he put into imitating The King's voice.
Elvis explores Presley's life in three sections: Elvis as a child, as a young man breaking into fame, and the twilight days before his premature death at the age of 42 in 1977.