Austin Butler, 31, spoke about his bond with the late Lisa Marie Presley when he appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon January 30. The Oscar nominee recalled meeting Elvis Presley‘s daughter at Graceland, where they screened the Elvis movie for the first time, and said that prior to that encounter he had “never had had an experience where I met somebody and felt an immediate depth of relationship to them.” Austin described Lisa Marie — who died at the age of 54 on January 12 after suffering cardiac arrest — as “a person who didn’t really have anything to prove and wouldn’t open up to everybody.” Austin added, “And she just opened up to me.”
Austin explained that he and Lisa Marie “got so close so fast,” and called her tragic death “just devastating.” Lisa Marie passed away just days after her and her mother Priscilla Presley, 77, watched Austin win a Golden Globe for his performance in Baz Luhrmann‘s movie. “It’s weird in moments like this because it’s so bittersweet,” Austin explained to Jimmy Fallon. “So much great stuff is happening, but I’m just devastated for her family and for her to not be here celebrating with us,” the Disney Channel alum said. “And to get to be with her at the Golden Globes, I’ll never forget that for the rest of my life,” he added.
Austin also confirmed to Jimmy that it was Lisa Marie who showed him Elvis’ slippers at the Presley family’s historic Graceland home in Memphis, Tenn. “I get goosebumps,” he said. “That was after we screened the film and his bedroom is a place most people never get to see, and she said, ‘I wanna show you something.’ She took me up there. Moments like that, we just sat in his bedroom, and up there, he’s not Elvis, he’s just dad,” Austin also said. “Truly I’ll treasure that forever.”
After Lisa Marie’s passing, Austin attended her funeral at Graceland on Sunday, January 22. He was joined by his girlfriend Kaia Gerber, 21. Two days later, Austin received his first nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance as Elvis. The actor released a statement after his nomination where he honored Lisa Marie and said that he’s “grateful” she got to see the biopic and was supportive of Austin’s performance as her iconic dad.
Lisa Marie is survived by her three daughters: actress Riley Keough, 33, and 14-year-old twins Harper and Finley. Her son, Benjamin Keough, died by suicide in 2020 at the age of 27. It was Priscilla who confirmed that her daughter had passed away on Jan. 12 “It is with a heavy heart that I must share the devastating news that my beautiful daughter Lisa Marie has left us,” she shared to AP. “She was the most passionate strong and loving woman I have ever known,” Priscilla also said.
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