Terrence Howard warble voice supercut: The actor’s shaky delivery, from The Best Man to Empire (VIDEO).

The Evolution of Terrence Howard’s “Warble Voice”

The Evolution of Terrence Howard’s “Warble Voice”

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Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
Feb. 11 2015 8:02 AM

The Evolution of Terrence Howard’s “Warble Voice”

howard_warble

If you’ve watched any number of movies or TV shows featuring Terrence Howard over the last few years, you've probably noticed that one of his acting “tics” involves a shaky, gravel-voiced line-reading. This is typically deployed when his character feels particularly passionate about something, and it’s only become more pronounced in his current scenery-chewing role as Lucious Lyons on the soapy melodrama Empire.

So we’ve traced the evolution of Howard’s “warble voice”—from The Best Man to his Oscar-nominated turn in Hustle & Flow, all the way up through Empire, his warbliest role ever.

Aisha Harris is a Slate culture writer and host of the Slate podcast Represent.

Chris Wade is a New York-based video and audio producer and an occasional contributor to Brow Beat.