‘Elvis’ Star Austin Butler Reveals How Meeting the Presley Family Beforehand Fueled His Performance

by Taylor Cunningham

Austin Butler is earning rave reviews for his title role in the upcoming Elvis biopic, but he’s not taking all the credit for his rumored flawless portrayal of The King.

As the 33-year-old actor shared with Entertainment Weekly, he never would have pulled off the iconic part without a little help from the Presleys.

“I got to meet Priscilla beforehand,” he revealed during a shared interview with Lisa Marie Presley, Elvis’ only child. “The first day I went to Graceland. It was profound for me. She just gave me a big hug and said, ‘You have a lot of support.’ Feeling her blessing beforehand [meant so much], because I wanted to make her proud. I wanted to do him justice — for her and for her family and Lisa Marie.”

And the support came to Butler completely unsolicited. Oscar-nominated Elvis creator Baz Lurhmann made it a point to share that he didn’t ask the Presley family to join or “endorse” his project. Furthermore, he never even expected them to step up. But he cherished the help. And just like Butler, he believes they are a big reason that the film is so popular with people weeks before it even hits theater.

“They could have liked it, loathed it, whatever,” he told the publication. “Their response is genuine. And for them to kindly bring us into their house and to say the things they did, I didn’t really see coming.”

Lisa Marie Presley Says if Butler Doesn’t Win an Oscar for ‘Elvis,’ She’ll ‘Eat Her Own Foot’

And endorse Elvis they did. Since seeing the film, the Presley clan has made it a point to talk about its magic on social media. They’ve met with multiple newspapers and magazines as well.

Lisa Marie even ended a social media hiatus to share her words on the movie, which she saw twice. In her opinion, both Luhrmann and Butler did a perfect job recreating her father’s rise to stardom.

As she wrote, the movie as a whole “is nothing short of spectacular. Absolutely exquisite.”

But more importantly, all the support that she and her family offered to Butler ended up giving him just what he needed to beautifully recreate Elvis’ image on the screen. And Lisa Marie was truly touched while watching his performance.

“Austin Butler channeled and embodied my father’s heart and soul beautifully,” she continued. “In my humble opinion, his performance is unprecedented and FINALLY done accurately and respectfully. If he doesn’t get an Oscar for this, I will eat my own foot, haha.”