Brow Beat

The Evolution of Terrence Howard’s “Warble Voice”

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.