While reflecting on his stream of awards honors, including the Oscar nod for best actor, Austin Butler shared an experience he had with the late Lisa Marie Presley while debuting his portrayal of her father, Elvis.
“I first met Lisa when we screened the film at Graceland. And I’ve never had an experience where I met somebody and felt an immediate depth of relationship to them,” the Elvis star said during a visit to Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show on Monday. “She was a person who didn’t really have anything to prove and wouldn’t open up to everybody, and she just opened up to me. And we got so close, so fast. So, it’s just devastating. It’s weird in moments like this, because it’s so bittersweet. So much great stuff is happening, but I’m just devastated for her family and for her not to be here celebrating with us.”
He added, “To get to be with her at the Golden Globes, I’ll never forget that for the rest of my life.”
He then shared how Lisa Marie showed him Elvis’ slippers after that screening at Graceland, a memory that gives him goosebumps. “His bedroom is a place that most people never get to see and she said, ‘I want to show you something’ and took me up there. Moments like that. We just sat in his bedroom and, up there, he’s not Elvis. He’s just Dad. And so to hear those stories, I truly will treasure that forever.”
Along with his best actor nomination from the Academy, Butler is also nominated for SAG and BAFTA awards for his portrayal of Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann’s film. When reacting to his Oscar nomination, Butler had previously opened up to The News84Media about the sudden loss of Lisa Marie amid the surreal awards moment.
“The thing I’m most grateful for is that I was able to spend the time that I had with Lisa Marie, and also the time that I had in getting to live for three years exploring the life of her father,” he said on Jan. 24, the day the 2023 Oscar nominations were announced. “When I feel moments like today, I have to really take a second to go, ‘OK, this is something to be really grateful for.’ But nothing compares to that moment I looked in her eyes after she first saw the film, where she told me how much it meant to her. I’ll really cherish that for the rest of my life.”
Presley died Jan. 12 after an episode of cardiac arrest, just two days after Butler won the best actor award at the Golden Globes for his portrayal, a moment where Lisa Marie was in attendance. Presley and her mother, Priscilla, have supported the film and Butler’s performance. (The actor still talks in Elvis’ voice.)
During his visit to Fallon, Butler also shared what he kept from the film and spoke about how he practiced the role of Elvis Presley before he even auditioned. “I just started working like I had the job before I even met Baz,” he said of working with a dialect coach and getting a head start months before meeting the director.
Watch the clip below.
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