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Austin Butler had an instant connection with Lisa Marie Presley after being cast as her late father, Elvis Presley, in “Elvis.”
“I first met Lisa when we screened the film at Graceland,” the actor said on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” Monday of the 2022 biopic, for which he received an Oscar nomination last week.
“I’ve never had an experience where I met somebody and felt an immediate depth of relationship to them,” he recalled.
Butler, 31, described Lisa Marie as a closed-off person and shared how special it was that she had let him in.
“She was a person who didn’t really have anything to prove and wouldn’t open up to everybody, and she just opened up to me, and we got so close so fast,” he said.
The “Carrie Diaries” alum then recalled Lisa Marie showing him her dad’s slippers in the “Hound Dog” singer’s bedroom at his iconic Memphis estate.
“I get goosebumps,” he remembered. “That was after we screened the film, and his bedroom is a place that most people never get to see, and she said, ‘I want to show you something,’ and she took me up there.
“We just sat in his bedroom, and up there, he’s not Elvis, he was just dad, you know? So to hear those stories, I truly will treasure that forever.”
In the wake of Lisa Marie’s death on Jan. 12, Butler said that attending the 2023 Golden Globe Awards with her was a memory he would cherish forever.
“I’ll never forget that for the rest of my life,” he shared.
The “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” star became emotional during the interview as he shared his heartbreak for Lisa Marie’s mourning family members.
“It’s just devastating. It’s weird in moments like this because it’s so bittersweet,” he said of “Elvis” dominating awards season. “So much great stuff is happening … but I’m just devastated for her family and for her to not be here celebrating with us.”
In addition to his Oscar nomination, Butler is up for SAG and BAFTA awards for his portrayal of Elvis in the Baz Luhrmann-directed film. He already won a Golden Globe for the role.
During his acceptance speech, the former “Switched at Birth” star thanked Lisa Marie and her mom, Priscilla Presley, for being at the Globes to support him.
“Thank you, guys. Thank you for opening your hearts, your memories, your home to me,” he said. “Lisa Marie, Priscilla, I love you forever.”
Lisa Marie seemed to be in good spirits at the awards show, but fans later noticed that she looked unsteady on the red carpet.
Last week, Butler attended a public memorial service for Lisa Marie at Graceland with his girlfriend, Kaia Gerber, by his side.
Lisa Marie was buried in the Meditation Garden next to her son, Benjamin, who died by suicide in July 2020.
Elvis and his parents, Vernon Presley and Gladys Presley, are also buried at the home.
Lisa Marie is survived by her three daughters: actress Riley Keough, 33, and 14-year-old twins Finley Lockwood and Harper Lockwood.
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