Austin Butler, who received his first Oscar nomination for ‘Elvis’ on Tuesday, says the honor is ‘bitter sweet’ – as he and Lisa Marie Presley had become close before her untimely deaths this month.
“It’s a bittersweet moment right now because I’m thinking about how I wish she were here right now to celebrate with me.” Butler told Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager when he called “Today With Hoda and Jenna” after learning about the nomination. “It’s the same as I feel about Elvis; I wish they could see those moments, you know?”
“It’s just strange to celebrate at a time of such deep sadness,” he continued. “But I kind of see it as a way to honor her. This is for you.”
Lisa Marie, the only child of Elvis and Priscilla Presley, died of cardiac arrest on January 12 in Los Angeles. The 54-year-old singer-songwriter had attended the Golden Globes with Butler – who won Best Actor in a Drama in Picture – just two days earlier.
“I am so overwhelmed by this film and the impact it had and what Baz [Luhrmann] done, Austin is done.” Presley said at a party the night before the Globes. “I’m so proud and I know my dad would be very proud too… I’m overwhelmed with gratitude, so thank you.”
Butler said days after Presley’s death his heart was “completely shattered.”
The California native, whose voice still clearly echoes that of the king, said during recent rounds of talks with The Hollywood Reporter and the Los Angeles Times that “Elvis” was a big challenge — a statement he repeated Tuesday.
“It was such a daunting endeavor to make this film, and it was also a very long process,” Butler said in Today With Hoda and Jenna. “I just remember those sleepless nights and all the fear and all the ways it could have gone wrong. To be recognized just feels very surreal and amazing.”
Butler, who was nominated for the Oscars in the Best Actor category on Tuesday, will be up against fellow nominees Colin Farrell (“The Banshees of Inisherin”), Brendan Fraser (“The Whale”) and Paul Mescal (“Aftersun”) and Bill Nighy (“Living”).
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