Austin Butler says he ‘probably damaged his vocal cords’ while playing Elvis

Austin Butler has claimed that he may have done damage to his vocal cords while filming Elvis.

The actor portrayed rock and roll icon Elvis Presley in the Baz Luhrmann-directed biopic, and received an Oscar nomination for Best Actor last month for his performance. (You can read The Independent’s four-star review here.)

In order to play Presley, Butler had to use a Tennessee accent as well as his own singing voice for certain performance scenes in the film.

Although Butler is from Anaheim, California, he has retained a Southern twang since his turn as the “Hound Dog” singer.

However, on Friday’s edition (3 February) of The Graham Norton Show, he said that ahe possibly harmed his vocal cords due to the many hours he spent singing.

“I am getting rid of the accent, but I have probably damaged my vocal cords with all that singing,” he told Norton, adding: “One song took 40 takes.”

As well as being in contention for an Academy Award, the 31-year-old actor also won a Golden Globe in January.

In his acceptance speech, he paid tribute to Elvis’s only child, Lisa Marie Presley. She died at age 54, days later.

The high praise for his work and the warm reception of the film has been a welcome relief for Butler.

Austin Butler as Elvis Presley (© 2022 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
Austin Butler as Elvis Presley (© 2022 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)

“It has been a whirlwind and it’s amazing because when you are making a film you never really know how it will be received,” he explained to Norton and the studio audience.

“With this one, there were so many ways it could go wrong so to be received in the way it has means the world to me.”

You can find the full list of Oscar nominees for the 2023 ceremony here.

The Graham Norton Show airs on BBC One on Friday 3 February at 10.40pm.