Wednesday, January 25, 2023

‘Wish Lisa Marie Was Here’: Austin Butler opens up on ‘bittersweet’ first-ever Oscar nomination for ‘Elvis’

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BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA: Austin Butler found the announcement of this year’s Oscar nomination disheartening. The 31-year-old actor woke up on Tuesday morning, January 24th, to learn that he had received his first Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Elvis’ biopic, an exciting achievement that he will not succeed Share with the rock and roll legend’s only child, Lisa Marie Presley, who died on January 12 at the age of 54.

Butler was reportedly roused from his trance by a non-stop barrage of calls and worried texts from his publicist and agent, informing him that the actor was receiving his first Oscar nomination for Best Actor for his Golden Globe-winning portrayal of King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

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2023 Oscar Nominations Full List: Everything Everywhere All At Once triumphs with 11 nominations, Brendan Fraser for Best Actor

Butler and Luhrmann went to Graceland for a memorial service, but the 31-year-old actor had to balance his professional success with grief at the untimely death of Lisa Marie Presley, MSN reported.

“It’s been a roller coaster ride for the past few weeks, really high ups and these low troughs of grief,” says Butler. “A moment like this feels joyful but it also feels bittersweet because I just wish Lisa Marie was here to celebrate with us right now.” He added, “But you know, it’s the same how I feel about my mother,” says Butler, whose mother died of cancer at the age of 23, the same age as Elvis’ mother Gladys died. “On days like today, you try to sit down feeling like you’re honoring her.”

Could winning the Oscar for Best Actor be another way to honor Lisa Marie? “I’m so honored and privileged to be among the great actors in this category,” says Butler. Victory would be “a beautiful way” to celebrate, but “just going on this journey has been the greatest privilege of my life.”

Butler trained for years for his role as Elvis Presley in a production that has been repeatedly postponed due to the pandemic lockdown and Tom Hanks’ early Covid diagnosis. Starring Colin Farrell (“The Banshees of Inisherin”), Brendan Fraser (“The Whale”), Bill Nighy (“Living”) and Paul Mescal – all also nominated for the first time in the prestigious Best Actor category – he is now in the privileged group.

Butler claims to have seen each of these films and has a special fondness for “All Quiet on the Western Front,” which received nine Oscar nominations, and “Banshees.” They both placed second behind Michelle Yeoh’s multiverse hopping “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” which received 11 nominations.

People were quick to respond on social media, saying: “This boy is fighting to win an #AcademyAward for playing this man!!! (Deacon Brother) Denzel Washington knows talent. #AustinButler #ElvisMovie #Oscars2023.” Another said, “The movie should win the Oscars IMO #AustinButler #ElvisMovie.” A third chimed in, “It deserves an Oscar the most in the world. He deserves all the awards in the world for becoming Elvis. He did something unattainable. He did something no one else in the world could do. He became Elvis.” A fourth said: “So well deserved, such an amazing achievement! I really hope he wins, Lisa will be watching from above and cheering #oscarforaustin.”

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