Austin Butler Says He Needed Dialect Coach to Remove His “Elvis” Accent for “Masters of the Air”

The actor revealed he started shooting the Apple TV+ miniseries just a week after wrapping on 'Elvis,' for which he won a Golden Globe

<p>Scott Kowalchyk/CBS</p> Austin Butler on

Scott Kowalchyk/CBS

Austin Butler on 'The Late Show with Stephen Colbert'

Austin Butler needed a little help shaking off Elvis Presley for his latest project.

During an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Wednesday, Butler, 32, revealed that he started shooting Masters of the Air just a week after wrapping for Elvis following three years of filming.

The quick turnaround between shoots led to him employing a dialogue coach so he didn’t sound like the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll in the Apple TV+ miniseries, which is released Friday.

“It was a lot,” he said of the three-year shoot and transition into Masters of the Air. “I was just trying to remember who I was, I was trying to remember what I liked to do. 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 added.

Related: How Denzel Washington Helped Convince 'Elvis' Director to Cast Austin Butler as Elvis Presley

The actor also told Colbert, 59, how his Elvis costar Tom Hanks, who is an executive producer on Masters of the Air, brought him onto the war drama.

“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,’ ” explained Butler. “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.’ ”

During an appearance on The Graham Norton Show in February 2023, Butler revealed he was still feeling the physical effects of portraying Presley.

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures Austin Butler in 'Elvis'
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures Austin Butler in 'Elvis'

Related: Vanessa Hudgens Reacts to Joke About Ex Austin Butler Continuing to Speak in Elvis Presley Accent

Speaking about his role in the upcoming Dune: Part Two, Butler said that he was "getting rid of the accent" that he had retained since wrapping up the Baz Luhrmann production, but added that he had “probably damaged my vocal cords with all that singing,”

"One song took 40 takes," he revealed.

The star's acting coach, Howard Fine, previously spoke with PEOPLE about Butler's vocal training, highlighting that "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 further noted that the goal of his methods was to ensure Butler "could relate to [Presley] until he's not imitating Elvis. He's inhabiting Elvis."

Butler was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of the late music legend and won the award for best actor in a motion picture, drama at the 2023 Golden Globes.

<p>Kevin Winter/GA/The Hollywood Reporter via Getty</p> Austin Butler at the 'Masters of the Air' world premiere in Los Angeles

Kevin Winter/GA/The Hollywood Reporter via Getty

Austin Butler at the 'Masters of the Air' world premiere in Los Angeles

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After accepting his award, Butler said backstage that he "didn't even think about" whether he might have still been using some of the character's distinctive voice in his acceptance speech.

"I don't think I sound like him still, but I guess I must because I hear it all the time," Butler added.

He continued, "I often liken it to when somebody lives in another country for a long time. I had three years where that was my only focus, so I'm sure there's pieces of him in my DNA and I will always be linked to him."

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