A month after Lisa Marie Presley’s passing, Austin Butler reflected on his friendship with Elvis and Priscilla Presley’s daughter and the times he’ll hold in his heart.
Austin Butler will never forget the moments he shared with Lisa Marie Presley.
The actor reflected on how he’ll remember the late daughter of Elvis and Priscilla Presley at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on Feb. 15.
“She grew up with so much attention on her from such a young age,” Austin, who was honored with the Virtuosos Award for his portrayal of her father in Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis, exclusively told E! News. “So when she came into my life, she was very protective. And the quiet times that we spent together were all about kind of turning down the noise on the rest of it and just sort of sharing in those very human emotions.”
These conversations had a profound impact on him. “It shifted the whole perspective at this time, which is such a time of celebration of her father,” the 31-year-old continued. “So I also feel like carrying around that legacy is something that was important to her.”
Lisa Marie died at the age of 54 on Jan. 12 after being rushed to the hospital, with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department telling Entertainment Tonight she suffered a cardiac arrest. An official cause of death has yet to be revealed.
Just two days before her passing, Lisa Marie attended the 2023 Golden Globes, where she and Priscilla watched Austin win the Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama prize for his performance.
“Thank you for opening your hearts, your memories, your home to me,” he told the Presleys during his acceptance speech. “Lisa Marie, Priscilla, I love you forever.
Lisa Marie was laid to rest at Graceland—where Elvis and her son Benjamin Keough are also buried—in Memphis, Tenn. on Jan. 22. Graceland was also the place where Austin met Lisa Marie for the first time.
“I first met Lisa when we screened the film at Graceland, and I’ve never had an experience where I met somebody and felt an immediate depth of relationship to them,” he told Jimmy Fallon on the Jan.
30 episode of The Tonight Show. “And 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. So, it’s just devastating.”
Austin—who secured his first Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Elvis—then reflected on what this award show season has been like following the death of Lisa Marie, whose children also include daughters Riley Keough, 33; Finley Lockwood, 14, and Harper Lockwood, 14.
“It’s weird in moments like this because it’s so bittersweet,” he said. “So much great stuff is happening, but I’m just devastated for her family and for her to not be here celebrating with us.”