Austin Butler is still Elvising.
On Sunday (March 12), all ears were perked toward the Elvis star to see if the Best Actor nominee would show up at the 2023 Oscars with his favorite accessory this awards season: his Elvis voice. And unfortunately, he hasn’t given it up. The rasp jumped out of his mouth on the champagne carpet.
This is all part of a puzzling years-long phenomenon in which the 31-year-old actor from Anaheim, California continues to speak in the husky Mississippi drawl he used to portray Elvis. For context, Elvis wrapped filming in 2021, and yet, the Elvis drawl is still kicking!
Butler has jumped through intellectual hoops trying to justify this bizarre choice. On the Graham Norton Show(Opens in a new tab) in February 2023 he blamed vocal cord damage from “all that singing” for the change in his voice. After winning the Golden Globe for Best Actor, and accepting the speech in his Elvis voice, he told press, “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.” So Butler would be someone who comes back from studying abroad saying “Barthelona,” noted.
After the Golden Globes, Irene Bartlett, Butler’s Elvis speech coach, told ABC Gold Coast(Opens in a new tab) suggested something truly haunting: that it may be there forever. “I feel sorry people are saying that, you know, it’s still acting [but] he’s actually taken [the voice] on board,” said Barlett. Others speculate that Butler winning Best Actor is our only hope for him putting the voice to rest. Because what better way to prove your skills than to keep the performance going all year long?
This is a developing story and will be updated.