Austin Butler dedicated all the silliest moments of his time on Saturday Night Live to his late mother. The actor shared a few stories with fans for during his opening monologue, explaining his history as an SNL fan. He revealed that it all went back to his mom, along with so many other aspects of his life.
Butler opened the show with a few self-deprecating jokes on the Studio 8H stage, including his own early attempts at acting. He explained: "When I wasn't acting, I was actually a really shy kid – like, really shy. But, luckily my mom decided to homeschool me and my sister, so I was also weird." Butler then explained that his love for SNL is tied up in his love for his mother, and in turn, the moments of self-discovery that got him into acting.
"I loved my mom. Some of my favorite memories from growing up are of me and my mom watching SNL together. We'd watch every week, and even though I had this crippling shyness, when I was with her, I'd do anything to make my mom laugh," he explained. "Really, being silly with her is what broke me out of my shell and it's the core of what started me in acting."
"Now, my mom is no longer with us," Butler continued, "but I've been thinking about her a lot this week – just imagining how proud she'd be that her son who used to not even be able to order food for myself at a restaurant is now standing on this stage. So, tonight, just know that anytime you see me doing a silly voice or making a funny face, that's for you, Mom."
Butler's mother, Lori Anne Butler, passed away in 2014 when Butler was 23 years old. She and Butler's father David divorced when Butler was seven years old. Butler began acting professionally at 13 years old and switched to a homeschool program to accommodate his work schedule.
Of course, these days Butler is practically a household name is considered a serious actor by most fans. He is coming off of an acclaimed performance as Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann's Elvis, and is entertaining some Oscar buzz for the role. Meanwhile, he has recently filmed Dune: Part Two where he will play Feyd-Rautha opposite Timothee Chalamet's Paul Atreides.
For now, Butler is receiving plenty of praise for his work on 2022's final episode of Saturday Night Live. The full episode is streaming now on Peacock and Hulu.