Austin Butler earned his first-ever Oscar nomination for Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis, which is a biopic of the late King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Elvis Presley.
The actor, 31, received a Golden Globe for his performance almost two weeks ago. Two days later, Elvis’ only child, Lisa Marie Presley passed away suddenly due to a cardiac arrest.
During a phone interview on TODAY with Hoda & Jenna on January 24, 2023, Butler reflected on receiving the exciting news during a time of mourning.
“It’s been a roller coaster these last couple of weeks, really high highs and these deep valleys of sorrow,” he shared.
“A moment like this, it feels joyous but it’s sort of a bittersweet moment right now because I think of how much I wish [Lisa Marie] was here right now to get to celebrate with us,” Butler mentioned.
He also said he is “still processing” his nomination and shared his sadness that Presley was not around to witness the film’s continued success. “I was trying to process it and trying to figure out if I was dreaming or not.”
“It’s the same way I feel about my mom," added Butler, whose mother died from cancer when he was 23, the same age Elvis lost his mother Gladys.
“It’s the same thing I’d say with Elvis, I wish that they could see these moments,” Butler continued. “It’s just sort of strange to celebrate at a time of such deep grief. … I sort of think of it as a way to honour her, and this is for her, you know?”
In the end, when asked if winning the best actor Oscar be another way to pay tribute to Lisa Marie, Butler said he was “humbled.”
He said that he “feel so privileged to be listed in the great actors in this category. Winning would be “a beautiful way” of honouring her, but “just going on this journey at all has been the biggest privilege of my life.”
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