Actor Austin Butler has honoured the late Lisa Marie Presley after being nominated for an Oscar, saying the possible accolade is ‘for her’.
Hear him speak about the poignant nomination here:
Her mother issued a statement saying she was the ‘most passionate, strong and loving woman’ she had ever known, asking for privacy for the family as they dealt with the ‘profound loss’.
Yesterday (Tuesday 24 January), it was announced that Butler is up for the Best Actor Academy Award for his turn as the titular hip swinger in Baz Lurhmann’s biopic Elvis, alongside fellow nominees Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin), Brendan Fraser (The Whale), Paul Mescal (Aftersun) and Bill Nighy (Living).
After finding out he was up for the big one, 31-year-old Butler appeared on Today with Hoda & Jenna to reflect on what it meant not just for him, but also the Presleys.
“It’s sort of a bittersweet moment right now because I think of how much I wish she was here right now to get to celebrate with me,” he said.
“It’s the same thing I feel with Elvis; I wish that they could see these moments, you know?”
He added: “It’s just sort of strange to celebrate at a time of such deep grief. But I sort of think of it as a way to honor her.
“This is for her.”
Elvis is also up for a number of other Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Cinematography and Best Editing.
Butler has already scooped the Golden Globe for Actor in a Drama Motion Picture, having attracted a lot of attention for his acceptance speech - with many on social media jibing him for his accent upon picking up the trophy.
His speech coach later spoke out to defend him, saying that he was just talking how he usually talks.
Irene Bartlett, who worked closely with Butler to develop his Elvis impersonation, said: “What you saw in that Golden Globes speech, that’s him.
“It’s genuine, it’s not put on.”
“I feel sorry people are saying that, you know. Because of Covid shutdowns, he was working on it all the time and it’s difficult to switch off something you’ve spent so much focus [and] time on.”
She went on to explain that Butler had taken his Elvis voice ‘on board’ and said that the twang could ‘be there forever’ in his speech.
Speaking of his own vocal situation, Butler said: “I don’t think I sound like him still, but I guess I must ’cause I hear [people say that] a lot.
“I had three years where that was my only focus in life, so I’m sure that there’s just pieces of my DNA that will always be linked [to Elvis] in that way.”