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    “It Was A Whole Thing”: Austin Butler Got Help From A Dialect Coach To Drop His Elvis Presley Accent After 3 Years Of Method Acting

    Method acting is a luxury male actors can afford but is it a practice they can handle well? Let’s look inside the cons of diving into a character so far deep that floating back to surface becomes a struggle. This happened to our big screen Elvis Presley, Austin Butler.

    The 32-year-old actor found himself ensnared in the iconic accent of the legendary pop star Elvis Presley. Butler played the role of the rock legend in the 2022 movie ‘Elvis’ for which he practiced ‘method acting’ by eating, sleeping and breathing Presley for three years.

    Related: Elvis Presley’s Fans Can Now Experience Him Singing Live. Here’s How

    A Dialect Coach To Help Austin Drop The Elvis Presley Accent

    Austin Butler
    Austin Butler

    The actor is gearing up for his role in the upcoming TV show ‘Masters of the Air,’ which is set to premiere on Apple TV+ on January 26. Now with another character behind, Butler opened up about his struggle of coming out of the Elvis persona. ‘The Shannara‘ star has previously discussed that shedding the musical legend’s distinctive tone is becoming a challenging task.

    “I had a dialect coach just to help me not sound like Elvis,” Butler confessed during a January 24 appearance on ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert‘. His revelation unfolded a difficult journey to escape the clutches of Presley’s vocal nuances. “It was a whole thing,” he chuckled.

    The Golden Globe winner’s commitment to authenticity didn’t stop at the accent. Butler detailed his intensive preparation for the role. He practiced method acting for three years under the direction of Baz Luhrmann for the 2022 biopic. “All I thought about was Elvis for three years,” he reflected, revealing the depth of his immersion into the character.

    Related: Did Priscilla Presley Ever Remarry? Who Did She Date After Elvis Presley?

    Tom Hanks’ Advice To Austin Butler After ‘Elvis’

    Tom Hanks and Austin Butler
    Austin Butler and Tom Hanks

    Tom Hanks, Butler’s co-star and producer of ‘Masters of the Air,’ played a pivotal role in convincing the actor to jump headfirst into another role.

    “I was having dinner with Tom Hanks in Australia,” the actor started. “He was sort of joking, saying, ‘You’re gonna lose your mind when you finish this three years of your life focused on this one thing. You’re gonna have to find something else to jump right into afterward,” Hanks advised.

    Even after the release of ‘Elvisin June 2022, Butler warned audiences that shedding the Elvis persona wasn’t an overnight task. ‘The Bikeriders‘ star revealed on the ‘Graham Norton Show’ in February 2023, “I have probably damaged my vocal cords with all that singing. One song took 40 takes.” 

    Despite public curiosity, Butler emphasized that certain habits from the three-year immersion still linger, attributing it to “certain muscular habits.”

    The actor’s struggles to disassociate from the Elvis character have become a talking point among fans. Brushing off the scrutiny, Butler shared with the Los Angeles Times in January 2022, “If I was trying to sound like Elvis, I would sound very different right now.” The ‘Dune 2’ actor mused, “I think it’s sort of amusing to me how much people want to focus on this one thing.”

    In case you missed: Masters Of The Air’: Plot, Cast, And Release Date Of The Callum Turner And Austin Butler-Starrer AppleTV+ Series

    Austin Butler Faced Scrutiny Over Not Ditching The Accent

    Austin Butler r winning the 2023 Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama Film for 'Elvis'
    Austin Butler at the 2023 Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama Film for ‘Elvis’

    After winning the 2023 Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama Film, Butler was put on the spot for his lingering Presley accent. The actor again attempted to explain his situation with that of someone living in a foreign country for a long while.

    “I often liken it to when somebody lives in another country for a long time,” he explained in the press room. “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.”

    Austin’s voice coach Irene Bartlett affirmed, “What you saw in that Golden Globes speech, that’s him… It’s genuine.” Bartlett expressed sympathy for the misperception that it’s still acting. She emphasized that Butler has genuinely embraced the voice. However, the coach remains uncertain about the permanence of this transformation.

    In a nod to the ever-evolving nature of actors, Butler hinted at potential future vocal shifts. Speaking to ELLE Australia in June 2022, he quirkily stated, “Check in with me in 20 years when I’ve played a lot of roles, who knows what I’ll sound like!”

    Austin Butler’s battle with the lingering echoes of Elvis serves as a deep insight into the controversial practice of method acting. 

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    Akshita Singh
    Akshita Singh
    Akshita Singh is a Senior Content Writer at First Curiosity. She has been churning out content for 2 years. She's an avid reader and writer, fascinated by the works of Sylvia Plath, Franz Kafka, and Charles Bukowski. Akshita is also a poet herself, having written two poetry books titled ‘Made By Misery’ and ‘Deathbed’. Apart from goth literature, another thing that she enjoys is the real and fictional stories of Hollywood. She loves cinema and admires all works of art, be they delivered by actors or directors. So, keeping up with celebrity life comes as basic nature to her, something she loves knowing and informing others.

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