Austin Butler’s transformation is full. The actor spent the final a number of years immersed in every little thing Elvis Presley main as much as the discharge of the Baz Luhrmann-directed biopic in 2022. Because the movie now makes its approach by means of the award-season circuit, questions swirl round Butler’s enduring dedication to the position — particularly, his continued use of the late rock icon’s distinctive accent. This was particularly current on the 2023 Golden Globes, the place Butler’s portrayal of Presley in “Elvis” earned him the award for greatest efficiency by an actor in a movement image, drama.
It got here as no shock that Butler thanked Presley in his acceptance speech — his newfound drawl in tact. “You had been an icon, and a insurgent, and I like you a lot. You’re remembered, and I’ll always remember.” On the sound of the music taking part in him off, Butler joked, “You may no less than play ‘Suspicious Minds’ or one thing.”
Butler beforehand addressed his tendency to slide into Elvis’s accent in a June interview with Leisure Tonight, saying it is one thing he cannot management. “At this level, I maintain asking folks, ‘Is that this my voice?’ as a result of this seems like my actual . . . It is a kind of issues the place sure issues set off it,” Butler stated. “Whenever you dwell with one thing for 2 years and also you do nothing else, I feel you can’t assist it. It turns into a fiber of your being.”
The accent was additionally obvious on the 2022 Met Gala. Butler attended the occasion with Priscilla Presley. In a crimson carpet interview with La La Anthony for Vogue, the accent was noticeable. His usually deep voice this time bore a torpid Southern drawl, which is uncommon for Butler, who was born and raised in Southern California, removed from Presley’s Memphis. Upon additional investigation, the accent can also be current in different interviews after Butler was solid in “Elvis,” together with on the “As soon as Upon a Time in Hollywood” premiere in 2019.
Butler hasn’t but said if he took a technique strategy to the position, an all-consuming approach beforehand utilized by Daniel Day-Lewis, Hilary Swank, and Jared Leto, amongst others. Butler did, nevertheless, isolate himself throughout a pause in manufacturing as a result of pandemic and turned his condo right into a kind of Presley temple with partitions of photographs. “Until I immerse as a lot as I presumably can, I will really feel like a fraud,” he recalled pondering within the Could 2022 situation of Vogue.
Luhrmann implied the accent was all the time there, lurking beneath the floor. The director informed Vogue, “From the second I met Austin, he was carrying one thing of Elvis with him. He had a touch of the swagger, a contact of the sound.” Tom Hanks, however, nervous Butler and Presley might grow to be too entwined. (Hanks portrays Presley supervisor Colonel Tom Parker within the movie.) “Making a movie, particularly this one, is an all-in, relentless marathon. The physique and psyche tackle a heavy burden,” he stated. “An actor’s soul advantages from some day by day detour.”
“I got down to make my voice an identical to his.”
Along with nailing Presley’s talking voice, Butler additionally needed to handle singing (sure, that is actually him singing all through the movie). To organize, Butler did vocal teaching practically seven days every week for a yr earlier than filming started. “Once I started the method of this I got down to make my voice an identical to his,” he informed The AU Evaluate. “That was my objective, that when you heard a recording of him and heard a recording of me, you would not be capable of inform the distinction.”
Vanessa Hudgens, who dated Butler for eight years, as soon as stated he was born to play the position. In a 2019 “Stay With Kelly and Ryan” look, Hudgens stated she first realized the resemblance when Butler sang alongside to a Presley Christmas track on a drive at some point. She informed him, “I do not know, however we have to determine how one can play Elvis. I do not know tips on how to get rights or what we do, however you have to play him. It’s your calling.” The next month, Butler realized Luhrmann was engaged on a biopic. Hudgens added, “You need to watch out with what you say, as a result of issues occur.”