Some roles can be life-changing for actors, but only a few become voice-changing.
In Austin Butler's case, the 32-year-old spent so much time training for his portrayal of Elvis in the 2022 biopic about the late "Burning Love" singer that he almost couldn’t shake the King of Rock and Roll’s famed accent even after production concluded.
During a recent guest appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Butler detailed how he transitioned back into his regular life — and voice — as he started shooting Masters of the Air just one week after finishing three years worth of filming for Elvis.
"It was a lot," Butler admitted of the quick turnaround between roles. "I was just trying to remember who I was, I was trying to remember what I liked to do."
The Bikeriders star continued: "All I thought about was Elvis for three years. And then I had that week off and then I flew to London and at that time it was Covid, so I’m quarantined for 10 days, so I thought, alright just pour all this energy into learning about World War II now."
"I had a dialect coach just to help me not sound like Elvis in that film, that was the whole thing," he said, as fans would surely notice the lingering accent in the upcoming miniseries — which hits Apple TV+ on Friday, January 26 — considering social media users already called out Butler for still sounding like Elvis at the Golden Globes last year.
As for how he landed back-to-back projects, Butler admitted his second role was thanks to the one and only Tom Hanks, who helped find him the gig.
"I was having dinner with Tom Hanks in Australia and he was sort of joking saying, 'You’re going to 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 right afterward,'" the Dune actor explained during his recent talk show appearance. "And the other producer Pat McCormick, who is a good friend of mine, he said, 'Well, Tom, find him something to do,' and then Tom said, 'Well I’ve got this World War II thing I’m working on.'"
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Butler's acting coach, Howard Fine, previously went into detail about the intensity of The Carrie Diaries star's vocal training, emphasizing just how much he had to embrace his character of Elvis in order to fully execute the role.
"What happens is in order to prepare, especially when you've got to do an accent, if the actor just practices their dialogue with the accent, you can really hear them working for it. The correct way to work on an accent is to speak that way 24/7 until it becomes second nature," Fine informed People last November, noting Butler needed to perfect his persona "until he's not imitating Elvis. He's inhabiting Elvis."