Austin Butler’s Elvis voice is defended by voice coach Irene Bartlett, who worked closely with Butler to help prepare Elvis’ legendary singing voice.
One of Austin Butler’s Elvis voice coaches defends the actor for still retaining his character’s iconic drawl. Directed by Baz Lurhmann, Elvis has reaped praise from critics and audiences alike, particularly for Butler’s immersive, dedicated performance. Widely regarded as the best movie centered around the King of Rock, the film currently holds the #2 slot for highest-grossing music biopics of all time.
In conversation with ABC News, Griffith University professor Irene Bartlett, who coached Butler for Elvis, defends his transformed voice. She explains that because Butler devoted so much time and effort to developing his character’s voice, it’s natural that he can’t yet switch it off. Dr. Bartlett stresses that Butler made a “true connection” to the role and isn’t pretending to have the voice. See more of what Bartlett shared below:
Because of COVID shutdowns he was working on it all the time, and it’s difficult to switch off something you’ve spent so much focus time on.
You know, when he came into his singing lessons he was dressed in 50s-style gear. He was never going to be — and [director] Baz Luhrmann didn’t want him to be — an Elvis impersonator, that’s the last thing they wanted him to be. What they wanted was a true connection with the personality of Elvis and his story and that’s what Austin worked on.
I feel sorry people are saying that, you know, it’s still acting [but] he’s actually taken [the voice] on board. I don’t know how long that will last, or if it’s going to be there forever.
Austin Butler’s Elvis Voice History Explained
Butler has been open about what the grueling process of prepping for Elvis was like. The actor spent roughly three years getting into character, isolating himself in Australia until the start of filming. He worked with a number of voice and dialect coaches, including Erik Singer, Eric Vetro, and Dr. Bartlett, who helped him develop Elvis’ speaking and singing voice. Dr. Bartlett revealed that Butler actually performed the concerts depicted in the film that take place before or during 1968. After Elvis’ filming wrapped in March 2021, Butler shared that he was hospitalized and bedridden, seemingly due to the burden of taking on the role.
While Butler’s dyed jet-black hair has returned to its natural blonde, audiences have noted since the film’s release in June 2022 that the actor still speaks with a deep tone and Southern accent. During his Golden Globe acceptance speech this month, people were again quick to comment that he sounded nothing like himself prior to his Elvis commitments. In responding to reporters shortly after his win, Butler said he didn’t think this was the case, but admitted that remnants of the role may always remain. Butler has since been the butt of jokes, some of which have suggested that Butler is faking the voice to draw attention or prove a point about his likeness with the rock star. Whether this is true — as both Butler and Dr. Bartlett deny — it’s evident that the lengths Butler has gone to have paid off career-wise, with many anticipating that he will earn a potential Oscar.
Though Butler has appeared in many Hollywood productions since his teen years, the star did not gain recognition until his Elvis breakout role; his portrayal has secured his place on the map. His adherence to the role both onscreen and offscreen has gained him some haters, but also plenty of fans. Audiences can look forward to seeing the actor in the upcoming Dune: Part Two and miniseries Masters of the Air.
Next: Did Austin Butler Sing The Songs In Elvis? (It’s Complicated)
Source: ABC News Gold Coast