Austin Butler honors Lisa Marie Presley after Oscar nomination

L-R: Steve Binder, Harper Vivienne Ann Lockwood, Lisa Marie Presley, Baz Luhrmann, Priscilla Presley, Riley Keough, Austin Butler and Finley Aaron Love Lockwood
Photo: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic (Getty Images)

Of the dozen-plus first time Oscar nominees anointed on Tuesday, did anyone work harder for it than Austin Butler? Not only did he carefully reproduce Elvis Presley’s accent (to permanently change the architecture of his mouthas Butler himself could put it) and learning to sing to mimic The King’s performances, but he also ingratiated himself with Presley’s actual family, who supported him on his awards season. Lisa Marie Presley died shortly after cheering him on to a Golden Globes win. And now that Butler has secured the Oscar nod, it is Elvis’ daughter who is on his mind.

“It’s a bittersweet moment right now because I just wish Lisa was here to celebrate with us,” Butler told Deadline. “But you know, I’m trying to focus on how this can be a moment to honor her.”

talking with The Hollywood Reporterhe emphasized the difficulty of the role: “(This role) seemed like it was this impossible mountain to climb in front of me. There were so many pitfalls and so I just focused on one step at a time.” He continued, “And what for me was just honoring the life of this man and his family. And that’s why the moments when Lisa Marie and Priscilla (Presley) got to see the movie and then I watched them first after… nothing I would do would ever top that. And especially with Lisa Marie not to be here with us. I just wish she was here to celebrate today with us.”

Butler told Deadline that Lisa Marie was “just amazing” and that he had “never felt the experience of getting so close to someone so quickly.” To THRhe reflected, “She was the most straightforward and supportive person. I know from all the times we got to celebrate together, how we would celebrate today, you know, and I wish she and Elvis were here for to experience this time.”

Butler went on to say that he was “most grateful” to be able to spend time with Lisa Marie and “to live for three years to explore his father’s life.” He added: “But nothing compares to the moment I looked into her eyes after she first saw the film, telling me how much it meant to her. I will truly cherish that for the rest of my life.”

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