Austin Butler’s Voice Coach Defends His Elvis Accent

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Austin Butler ADDRESSES Debate Over His Elvis Accent

Austin Butler ain’t nothing but a hard worker, according to his voice coach.

Irene Bartlett—who was hired to work with the Elvis actor in 2019—said Austin strove for years to develop a “connection” with his role as Elvis Presley, including shaping his speaking voice to resemble that of the famed musician.

“Because of COVID shutdowns, he was working on it all the time,” Irene told ABC’s Gold Coast on Jan. 16, “and it’s difficult to switch off something you’ve spent so much focus time on.”

Austin’s continued embrace of the raspy drawl raised eyebrows on the internet following his appearance at the 80th annual Golden Globes—where he won the award for Best Actor in a Drama. However, Irene said the voice isn’t being done for show.

“What you saw in that Golden Globes speech, that’s him,” she said. “It’s genuine, it’s not put on.”

As for how long he’ll continue to sound like Elvis? Irene isn’t sure.

“I feel sorry people are saying that, you know, it’s still acting [but] he’s actually taken [the voice] on board,” she said. “I don’t know how long that will last, or if it’s going to be there forever.”

To take on such an iconic voice, Irene explained that she started at the basics.

Hunter Abrams/Shutterstock

“Basically what I look for is what their natural singing voice is doing,” she said. “I strip away all the effects someone is putting on, and I go, ‘What does this natural voice sound like?’ and what is working and what needs help in terms of enhancement, in terms of support, flexibility, stamina, all those things.”

Despite fans thinking otherwise, Austin isn’t convinced he sounds like the King of Rock N’ Roll.

“I don’t think I sound like him still, but I guess I must because I hear it a lot,” he said at the 2023 Golden Globes in the backstage press room on Jan. 10. “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.”

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