Austin Butler Can’t Stop Playing Elvis Even When He Tries

Austin Butler spent three years preparing for his role as Elvis, learning to walk and talk like the King, but now he can't stop.

By Jonathan Klotz | Published

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When Austin Butler gave his acceptance speech at the 2023 Golden Globes after winning Best Actor for his portrayal of Elvis Presley, fans were shocked to hear the actor still sounded like Elvis. Deadline reported on the strange situation, noting that reports backstage asked about the accent still being there, prompting Butler to say “Still? I don’t think I sound like him still but I guess I must because I hear it a lot.”

Austin Butler went on to explain why he may still be talking like Elvis, “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 would not be the last actor to permanently take a part of their character with them; an example includes House star Hugh Laurie catching himself walking with a limp years after the series concluded.

Aware of the ongoing situation, Austin Butler made his new Elvis accent part of his Saturday Night Live opening monologue last month. Joking that he “always sounded like this,” the Dune: Part Two star aired a modified clip with his voice adjusted. For his part, Butler is taking the jokes in stride and with good humor.

During the instantly famous acceptance speech, Austin Butler made sure to thank Elvis Presley’s family, specifically Priscila and Lisa Marie, for being accepting of the actor and allowing him into their home for so long. Butler’s portrayal of The King of Rock and Roll follows the legendary musician’s career from the carnival to the famous Las Vegas performance that rejuvenated the “Jailhouse Rock” singer.

With the recent passing of Lisa Marie Presley on January 12, 2023, a biopic of her legendary father was perfectly timed so that the singer-songwriter could enjoy seeing fans embrace the film. The legend of Elvis has shown no signs of decreasing, with Graceland still attracting thousands of visitors each year, and Elvis’ albums remaining some of the best sellers year-in and year-out.

elvis biopic
Austin Butler in Elvis

Austin Butler’s Golden Globe win was a first for the star of The Shannara Chronicles, following an incredible series of nominations and wins for Elvis. The former teen star has come a long way from guest-starring on Disney shows, including iCarly and Zoey 101. While 2022 was a breakout year for the actor, 2023 will give Butler an even larger stage to showcase his acting range.

As Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen, nephew of Baron Harkonnen, Austin Butler gets to be the villain opposite Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya, even if he claims that it’s his character that’s the real hero of the movie. Dune was a hit in 2021, the biggest opening of director Denis Villeneuve’s career, and now that pandemic-era theater restrictions have been lifted, the sequel is poised to be even bigger.

Austin Butler’s star is rising, with a rumored role in the MCU, but until then, his next project is The Bikeriders, an upcoming drama based on a 1968 book of the same name, and despite the time period, he’s not playing Elvis again. Butler joins a star-studded ensemble including Jodie Comer, Michael Shannon, Norman Reedus, and Mike Faist.