Bassett, whose Black Panther: Wakanda Forever role landed her a best supporting actress nomination, sat down with The New Yorker for an interview published online Monday. During the conversation, Bassett was asked whether her Oscar-nominated role as Tina Turner in the 1993 biopic What’s Love Got to Do With It took over her brain in the way that the part of Elvis Presley seemingly impacted Butler.
The actress replied that this was “absolutely” the case for her, and she even gave a high-pitched Turner-style laugh to prove it. “Tina’s laugh and the way she spoke took over,” Bassett said. “It took over, not as long as Elvis — maybe about four months after. You so lived and breathed and began to see life through their perspective. You had to. They’re a part of you.”
She continued, “I think that’s what’s going on with him. You have to bid it farewell, and it’s hard to let it go, because you’ve enjoyed it, you survived it, you delivered, and you’re proud of that. You got an opportunity, and you hit it out of left field. So it takes a moment to get back to regular you. But you’re different after this moment. Now you’re Austin, who did that great performance.”
Butler spurred social media debate at last month’s Golden Globes when viewers felt that his acceptance speech appeared to be delivered in a voice similar to the one he used for the role. While addressing reporters backstage after his win, Butler said, “I don’t think I sound like him still, but I guess I must because I hear it a lot.”
During a recent visit to The Graham Norton Show, Butler assessed that all of his singing for the film “destroyed my voice a bit.” The actor added that he has felt self-conscious after knowing that people have questioned his voice.