Austin Butler Promises To Drop His Elvis Voice, Laments The Physical Toll Of Filming His Oscar-Nominated Role

Austin Butler as Elvis Presley
(Image credit: Warner Bros)

As the world watches the 2023 Oscar nominations become fuel for speculation over who the ultimate winners will be, there’s another subject that’s caught everyone’s ear. Throughout the awards season so far, we’ve heard Elvis star Austin Butler committing to the bit, seemingly keeping in character with that deep voice full of Memphis swagger. The debate over whether he’d give it up or not is about to come to an end, as Butler is officially letting his notable accent leave the building.

The news broke through Butler’s guest spot on The Graham Norton Show, as the acting heartbreaker admitted to just how much of a physical toll his Oscar-nominated role took on him. Even wilder is the admission that one unnamed song took an outrageous amount of takes, as revealed by Austin Butler below:

I am getting rid of the accent, but I have probably damaged my vocal cords with all that singing. One song took 40 takes!

People on both sides of the issue already saw this coming, as even his Dune: Part Two co-star Dave Bautista admitted that his co-star didn’t use the Elvis accent on set. It hasn’t stopped the internet from commenting on what they’ve been hearing, as even Austin Butler’s acceptance speech at the Golden Globes touched off a hunka hunka burning debate. At least Butler's decision to drop the accent came from a place of personal concern, rather than social media opinion. 

Let the guessing game begin as to which Elvis number took that many takes, as anything from “Hound Dog” to “If I Can Dream” would fit the bill. Director Baz Luhrmann’s maximalist biopic went hard with every one of those moments, with Butler being front and center for each one of them. If there’s really a question that needs to be asked, it’s which scene didn’t push the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood star to his limits? Seriously, watch him go hard on “If I Can Dream,” and judge for yourself: 

Smart money could be placed on that being the number that sent Austin Butler through the ringer. Displaying why this era of his career will go down as one of the most dedicated and transformative performances, no matter how divided critical opinions on Elvis tend to be, the praise Baz Luhrmann gave Butler for using that voice to its fullest potential can’t be underrated. 

Whether or not Feyd-Rautha will bring a new voice for Butler to tap into for months to come has yet to be determined. We’ll just have to wait for Dune: Part Two to release its first look at his next would-be showstopper, set to release into theaters on November 3rd. While you wait, you can currently stream both Elvis and the first Dune movie, through the help of an HBO Max subscription.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.