Austin Butler Tears up Remembering Lisa Marie Presley

Hollywood is still mourning the loss of Lisa Marie Presley. The only daughter of Elvis and Priscilla Presley died after suffering cardiac arrest on Jan. 12. She was 54 years old. She leaves behind three children. Her son Benjamin died by suicide in 2020. Ahead of her death, she worked with Austin Butler in the biopic Elvis. He took home the 2023 Golden Globe for Best Actor, thanking Lisa Marie and Priscilla in his emotional acceptance speech. The award show would be her last public appearance. Now, he's recalling fond memories of Lisa Marie, telling Sunday TODAY that he feels "endlessly privileged" to have been a part of her story. 

"I remember the moment they were first going to watch the film," he recalls of going to see the film for the first time, Entertainment Tonight reports. "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." 

He was nervous about what the family's reaction could be, noting that they could have reacted "could go either way." instead, Priscilla Presley sent director Baz Luhrmann an email congratulating the now Golden Globe winner for his portrayal of her ex-husband. "I just burst into tears, 'cause it was, I felt so much responsibility for them, for their family, and for Elvis' legacy," he remembers. 

He would meet Lisa Marie later, and says she instantly made an impression on him. "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." 

He remembers the one thing that they connected on. "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." 

He gets teary-eyed while reminiscing on the bond he shared with Lisa Marie. "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.