Austin Butler can’t seem to escape the shadow of portraying Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann’s Oscar-nominated 2022 musical biopic.
During an appearance on the Graham Norton Show, Butler—who took home the 2023 Golden Globe in the Best Actor in a Drama category—was asked for his thoughts on the discourse about his voice still sounding like Elvis.
“I’m glad you say that, I hear it all the time,” he said with a bit of a laugh. Norton pointed out Butler does in fact sound “a lot less” like Elvis than the 31-year-old actor did months ago, when he was fresh off starring in the film. “To be honest, I’ve really—I heard my publicist told me the other day—I try to stay off social media—so my publicist told me, you know, ‘People are talking about your voice,’ and these sorts of things. And it really made me self conscious for a second ’cause I thought, ‘Am I being phony? Is this not my voice?’”
He continued, “And then I thought, I’d have to think consciously to not talk how I am right now. But my voice sounds different when I talk to my dog, or when I talk to my dad, or when I’m here right now. You know, we all have different bits of ourselves that we’re releasing. … If I tried to sound like Elvis, I would sound very different right now—I’m not gonna, you have to pay extra for that.”
Austin also has a theory on why his voice may have genuinely changed during the production. “But the other thing is, I think from all the singing, I probably have destroyed my voice a bit—my vocal cords, it’s a lot raspier now. And so I just trained a lot,” he recalled.
Entertainment Weekly and other outlets shared a quote not contained in the clip above. “I am getting rid of the accent, but I have probably damaged my vocal cords with all that singing,” he reportedly said.
It isn’t the first time Butler has spoken about how he still sounds like Elvis.
At the Golden Globes in January, he was asked if Elvis’ voice has stuck with him. “I don’t think I sound like him still, but I guess I must because I hear it a lot. I often liken it to when somebody lives in another country for a long time. I had three years where [Elvis] was my only focus in life, so I’m sure there’s just pieces of my DNA that will always be linked in that way.”