Austin Butler says he “probably damaged” his vocal cords on ‘Elvis’

“One song took 40 takes”

Austin Butler has said he may have damaged his vocal cords while filming Elvis.

The actor played Elvis Presley in the biopic from director Baz Luhrmann, alongside Tom Hanks, Olivia DeJonge, Helen Thomson and Richard Roxburgh.

Butler, along with using his own singing voice, adopted a Tennessee accent for the role – which has since stuck and become a talking point following appearances at the Golden Globes.


Speaking on The Graham Norton Show (February 3), Butler addressed his Elvis accent and the struggles he had with the film’s singing scenes.

Austin Butler
Austin Butler CREDIT: Matt Winkelmeyer/FilmMagic

“I’m getting rid of the accent, but I have probably damaged my vocal cords with all that singing,” Butler said. “One song took 40 takes.”

Earlier this year, Butler won Best Actor at the Golden Globes for the role. Speaking backstage about his voice, Butler said: “I don’t think I sound like him still, but I guess I must because I hear it a lot.

“I often liken it to when somebody lives in another country for a long time and I had three years where that 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.”

Butler received an Oscar nomination for Best Actor for his performance, alongside Brendan Fraser, Colin Farrell, Bill Nighy and Paul Mescal. The ceremony takes place in Hollywood on Sunday March 12.


In a four-star review, NME wrote: “Though it plays like a glitzy musical in the mould of Bohemian Rhapsody, Elvis also works as a much-needed lesson about America’s cultural history. Some of the best moments see the star interact with his biggest influences – such as Little Richard ripping through ‘Tutti Frutti’ in a dingy backroom bar; or B.B. King providing a calm refuge (and some sage advice) when the attention starts to overwhelm him.”

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