Austin Butler Gets Emotional As He Reflects On Lisa Marie Presley

Chisom Ndianefo
Close-up shot of Austin Butler
Getty | Tibrina Hobson

Lisa Marie's death shocked Hollywood; however, they are a selected few who still grieve for the late singer. One of them happens to be our star actor Austin Butler who played Elvis In the Baz Luhrmann biopic that won the actor a Golden globes award.

Keep reading to find out more.

Austin Butler Tears Up

Austin Butler
Flickr | constance.vincent17

In an exclusive sneak peek of his Sunday TODAY interview, Austin Butler sobs over the passing of Lisa Marie Presley and says he feels "endlessly privileged" to have been a part of her story.

Recalling Watching The Biopic With The Presleys

Butler tells Sunday TODAY host Willie Geist in the clip, speaking about the Presley family's first screening of Elvis.

"I remember the moment they were first going to watch the film, I'd never been more nervous for anybody to see anything I'd ever done, because they'd never seen anything, they didn't even read the script at that point, and they were very nervous." 

Why Butler Wasn't Sure of Their Reaction

Austin Butler as Elvis
Giphy | Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Movie

Butler continues by saying that he was aware that the Presleys' reaction "could go either way," but that Priscilla Presley emailed director Baz Luhrmann to express her gratitude for Butler's portrayal of her ex-husband.

Why He Got Emotional

"I just burst into tears, 'cause it was, I felt so much responsibility for them, for their family and for Elvis' legacy," he says. 

On Meeting Lisa Marie For The First Time

Lisa Marie Presley with Riley and Benjamin Keough
Flickr | noora.luukka03

Later, when the crew screened the movie at Graceland, Butler got to meet Lisa Marie, Elvis' daughter.

"When I locked eyes on her, it's really a surreal thing," he says. "I'd been playing her dad for such a long time, and doing my best to make it as true for me as possible -- the relationship, you know, of feeling the love for her through her father." 

How They Easily Connected

Butler emphasized that their meeting's unique setting contributed to their easy connection.

"Because the film resonated for her in that way, now...we're standing in front of each other and we're looking into each other's eyes and I felt so much love for her through him in that whole process. I've never felt closer to someone quicker than I felt with her."

Recalling Their Bond

The Presley's at Elvis Premiere
Flickr | noora.luukka03

Butler breaks down in tears as he recalls their special relationship and expresses gratitude to Geist for the time he had with her before her passing.

Lisa Marie Was Incredible

"She was just the most incredible woman I'd ever met, and just so incredibly honest and loving. Just to finally be able to give her a hug and then to spend all those moments with her, it's really, really sad right now," he says.  

Butler's View On Life

Austin Butler
Flickr | constance.vincent17

Butler asserts that life is what you make of it, as Elvis continues to receive attention ahead of the Academy Awards next month.

Butler says life is;

"very bittersweet right now. I just wish that she was here to celebrate with us."

The Movie Got 8 Nominations

There are eight Oscar nominations for the movie, including Best Picture and Butler for Best Actor.

Austin Is Grateful To Everybody Who Accepted The Elvis Story

Elvis Presley

Austin is marveled and appreciative of how the Elvis story was received;

"I'm so grateful that everybody's received the story in the way that they have, to get recognition for their family."

Why He Feels Privileged To Be Part Of The Elvis Biopic

He added;

"I know it weighed on her a lot how misunderstood he was, so to be a part of that, I just feel so endlessly privileged." 

Lisa Marie Passed At 54

Lisa Marie Presley
Giphy | NBC

Lisa Marie was 54 years old when she passed away on January 12 after experiencing a complete cardiac arrest at her Calabasas, California, home.

Lisa Marie Attended The Golden Globes

Lisa Marie watched Austin win the Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama award at the 2023 Golden Globes with Priscilla just two days before she passed away.

Austin Thanked The Presleys During His Acceptance Speech

"Thank you for opening your hearts, your memories, your home to me," he told the Presleys during his acceptance speech. "Lisa Marie, Priscilla, I love you forever."

She Was Buried In Graceland

On January 22, Lisa Marie was laid to rest at Graceland, where Elvis and her son Benjamin Keough are also interred.

The Plot Of Elvis

Although the story is told through the eyes of Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis' dishonest and egotistical manager Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks), the 2022 biopic follows Elvis from birth to death.

In this non-linear movie, Chaydon Jay plays Elvis when he was younger; Austin Butler plays the King of Rock and Roll from his early adolescence until his untimely death at 42.

Olivia DeJonge, who plays Pricilla, and Helen Thompson and Richard Roxburgh, who play Elvis' parents Gladys and Vernon, round out the movie's main cast.

How He Prepped For The Role

Austin Butler revealed to Deadline that he prepared for his five-month audition process as though he had already been cast in the role from the moment he first heard about "Elvis."

The actor acknowledged that during the two years, it took to shoot the biopic, he did nothing but live as Elvis. When asked what it took to bring Elvis to life at a Cannes press conference, he admitted;

"I basically put the rest of my life on pause for two years and I just absorbed everything that I possibly could and I just went down the rabbit hole of obsession."

On Embodying The King Of Pop

Butler acknowledged that there was a learning curve involved in the process because initially, he was preoccupied with trying to replicate The King as closely as possible before realizing that the most crucial step was figuring out how to make sure that Elvis' genuine personality, soul, and humanity came through in his performance.

To make the performances appear genuine and spontaneous; he balanced the precision of meticulously studying Elvis' stage movements until he knew them inside and out.