Austin Butler won the hearts of Elvis Presley fans when he took on the role of the King of Rock and Roll in Baz Luhrmann's biopic Elvis. But it wasn't just Elvis fans that quickly warmed to him. It was also Lisa Marie Presley, the singer's late daughter, who passed away in January at age 54.
Presley died just days after appearing alongside Butler to promote the film, which left a hole the size of Graceland in the hearts of fans everywhere. Butler opened up about his thoughts on getting close to Presley throughout this time working on the film and just how much their bond together meant to him.
"It feels weird to celebrate in a time of such intense grief," Butler said of his Oscar nomination for Elvis in an interview with Good Morning America. "I know how much this all meant to her and so I feel like just trying to carry all her legacy into all of it, you know, is the way forward."
Butler said he felt "protective" of Elvis and that he was protected by Presley as the two became closer and closer while working on the film. When asked if he still felt that "protection" during the same interview, the actor said "I do, wherever she is right now. I feel like we all have a very powerful angel."
The actor was cast after five months of intense auditions put on by director Luhrmann. After preparing by singing a variety of Elvis songs and learning to "become" the legendary musician, he was finally offered the role, which earned him his first Academy Award nomination for Best Lead Actor alongside names like Brendan Fraser, Colin Farrell, Paul Mescal, and Bill Nighy.
Butler has since found it difficult to shake his "Elvis voice," but has been incredibly appreciative of his time playing the role. Going forward, it's obvious he'll have Lisa Marie in his heart as well.
READ MORE: 'Elvis'Star Austin Butler Credits Ex Vanessa Hudgens for Oscar-Nominated Role
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