Austin Butler Says He's Finally 'Getting Rid' of Elvis Accent

Austin Butler is finally shedding his Elvis accent. "I am getting rid of the accent, but I have probably damaged my vocal cords with all that singing," the Dune: Part Two star said on the Feb. 3 episode of BBC One's Graham Norton Show. "One song took 40 takes." Butler added, "It made me self-conscious for a second because I thought, 'Am I being phony? Is this not my voice?'" In the Baz Luhrmann-directed biopic Elvis, Butler received critical praise for his portrayal of the titular singer in the film, which was also nominated for Best Picture by The Academy in January. However, many noted that the actor maintained Elvis Presley's deep vocal tone, especially when he hosted Saturday Night LiveTom Hanks, Butler's Elvis costar, also played Presley's Dutch manager, Colonel Tom Parker, with a noticeable accent during production.

"I had no idea what it was going to be like meeting someone you have admired for so long. You hope they would be warm to you, but you never really know. He is such a master of his craft, and I was intimidated, but the first time I met him he gave me the biggest bear hug and joked about how nervous he was," Butler told Norton. "When I said I was terrified, he said 'And, nobody knows what Colonel Parker sounds like, but everyone knows what Elvis sounds like!'" It took years of preparation for Butler to portray the King, acquiring method acting techniques to fully immerse himself in the role. Butler told the press at the Golden Globes that he doesn't think he sounds like Elvis.

"I often liken it to when somebody lives in another country for a long time," Butler said. "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." His new film will unlikely feature Elvis's deep, velvety drawl. During an interview with USA TodayDune actor Dave Bautista revealed that Butler does not sound like himself or Elvis in Denis Villeneuve's upcoming Dune: Part Two. In the sequel, Butler plays Feyd-Rautha, the evil nephew of Baron Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgard), who will succeed his family on Arrakis. Feyd-Rautha is also the brother of Bautista's character, the cruel Glossu Rabban. "He's just the sweetest guy you'll ever meet," Bautista said of Butler. "I don't know who this guy was, but it's not Austin Butler. It's not Elvis. His voice is different, his look is different. Everything about his demeanor is terrifying."