Is Austin Butler’s continued Elvis Presley accent an affect or just an aftereffect of three years of vocal coaching and method acting?


Since starring in Baz Luhrmann’s biopic Elvis, star Austin Butler has continued to speak like the king of rock and roll, with people forgetting what his voice sounded like before his breakthrough role. Butler underwent extensive vocal coaching and method acting during the film’s three-year production period. However, critics and audiences say that Butler intentionally retained his Elvis Presley accent beyond the film’s release.


Austin Butler began acting as a teenager with roles on various Disney Channel and Nickelodeon television series such as Hannah Montana, iCarlyand Zoey 101. Some of Butler’s pre-Elvis film roles include supporting roles in Kevin Smith’s Yoga HosersJim Jarmusch’s The dead don’t dieand Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood as a member of the Manson Family. As the latter film, playing the infamous Tex Watson, was Austin Butler’s last role before Elvisit’s the perfect point of comparison to reference how Butler sounded before his breakthrough role.

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Related: Did Austin Butler Sing the Songs in Elvis? (It is complicated)


Austin Butler always had a deeper voice, but he didn’t have Elvis’ accent

Austin Butler as Tex Watson in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Austin Butler as Tex Watson in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

It can be easy to forget that Austin Butler was around Once Upon in Hollywood as he has a relatively small role and had long hair and facial hair in the Tarantino production. The bulk of his speech as Tex Watson comes during the Manson Family’s climactic confrontation with Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt). Here, Austin Butler sounds completely different than he would have three years later Elvis, where he still has a deeper voice but a very different accent, this time being Tex Watson’s Texas accent. Likewise, Butler’s pre-Elvis off-screen voice sounded similarly deep, but not in the vein of Elvis.

Another point of comparison is Austin Butler’s role in Kevin Smith’s 2016 film Yoga Hosers, in which he played the character Hunter Calloway, a romantic interest for Harley Quinn Smith’s protagonist Colleen McKenzie. Despite putting on an exaggerated Canadian accent for the role, Hunter’s voice is probably closer to what Austin Butler’s natural voice sounded like before Elvis. His voice sounds quite authentic for someone born and raised in Anaheim, California.

Will Austin Butler sound like Elvis forever?

Austin Butler as Elvis Presley sings into a microphone

After he won the 2023 Golden Globe for Best Actor, people started noticing that Austin Butler still sounded like Elvis Presley almost two years after the footage wrapped on the film. Many online critics believed that Butler kept his Elvis voice on purpose to capitalize on the fame the role brought him. Those involved in elvis’ production has a very different history.

In a recent interview, Irene Bartlett, Austin Butler’s vocal coach, said: Elvis, ensures that the accent is authentic and not applied by Butler. Bartlett also noted that Butler’s accent could sound like Elvis Presley forever, and she said, “Due to COVID shutdowns he was working on it all the time and it’s hard to turn off something you’ve spent so much focus on [and] time on“(via Page six). Austin Butler’s next significant role will see him play the villainous Feyd-Rautha Dune: Part Two, and it will be interesting to see if his performance turns out to be like “Elvis in the room.

More: Elvis True Story: How accurate it is and what the movie changes

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