He grew up in Anaheim, California close to Disneyland but since winning the role of Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis biopic on the King of Rock ‘n Roll, fans were baffled that Austin Butler’s voice had seemingly changed to mimic that of the music icon he embodied on-screen.
While accepting his first Golden Globe for his portrayal of Elvis Presley, Butler was jokingly accused of having an “identity crisis” per Teen Vogue, who noted that his dialect had shifted from a higher pitch to the smoother Southern drawl so synonymous with Presley, who was born and raised in Tennessee. “The month before I heard that Baz was making the movie, I was going to look at Christmas lights with a friend,” Butler recently said during The Hollywood Reporter‘s Actors Roundtable. “There was an Elvis Christmas song on the radio and I was singing along, and my friend looked over at me and goes, ‘You’ve got to play Elvis.’ I said, ‘Oh, that’s such a long shot.’”
After his Golden Globe win for Best Actor, the Carrie Diaries star was asked about his accent. “I don’t think I sound like [Presley] still, but I guess I must because I hear it a lot,” Butler told reporters. “I had three years where that was my only focus. So, I’m sure there’s pieces of him in my DNA and I’ll always be linked.”
In an interview on the Graham Norton Show which aired on Friday, February 3, 2023, Butler said he was still in the process of shedding the accent. “I am getting rid of the accent, but I have probably damaged my vocal cords with all that singing,” he said. “One song took 40 takes!”