Watch ‘Elvis’ Star Austin Butler Plays Elvis Presley’s ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’ at Graceland

by Suzanne Halliburton

Yes, that’s really Austin Butler playing an Elvis Presley guitar at Graceland. Some fans consider it blasphemy to the king’s reputation, but the actor who portrays him in the movie really has the soul of a musician.

On Wednesday, the Elvis Presley estate shared a video of Butler strumming the guitar to “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” one of the King’s beloved hits. Butler stars in the new biopic, which had its Graceland premiere this past weekend. And Butler really is a musician. He taught himself how to play the guitar and piano when he was 13.

Granddaughter First Posted Photo of Butler Playing Elvis Presley Guitar

Riley Keough, who is Elvis’ granddaughter, posted a photo of Butler with the guitar late Tuesday.

“It was such a special and overwhelming experience I haven’t quite processed,” Keough wrote on her Instagram page. “One of many sweet things that happened while we were there – Austin played my grandfather’s guitar in the house. This guitar hasn’t been played by many people.” 

The guitar, complete with the Elvis Presley inscription on the fretboard, is a 1956 Gibson J200. It’s part of the Graceland collection. Keough said she knew that Paul McCartney had tuned the guitar, but she couldn’t recall many others who’d played it. So it definitely was a special moment.

And it brought out a mixed reaction from the many fans who still love Elvis Presley.

“You don’t let a Joker play a King’s Guitar,” one fan wrote on Twitter. “Have some respect and keep his artifacts out of people’s hands.”

But there are so many others who likely will flock to theaters to watch Elvis. It’s set for a wide release on June 24. Movie analysts think it will be the third blockbuster of the summer, generating similar buzz as Top Gun: Maverick and Jurassic World Dominion.

Austin BThe Elvis Presley family has supported the biopic. Priscilla Presley, Elvis’ wife, appeared with the movie cast when it premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. (Photo by VALERY HACHE/AFP via Getty Images)

Presley Family Hosted Movie Premiere at Graceland

Some fans loved the Butler rendition of one of Elvis’ heartfelt love songs.

“My favorite song,” a fan wrote. “I miss him so much.” Another fan knew Graceland so well she could tell where Butler was sitting. The fan wrote: “he’s in The Den, or as it was later called, the Jungle Room. I know some are complaining about his being allowed to play E’s guitar. But he’s being respectful. Imagine the hundreds of thousands of people who have walked through Elvis’s home? (I’m 1 of them.)”

Keough, along with her mother (Lisa Marie Presley) and grandmother (Priscilla Presley) hosted the Graceland premiere. The three have sung the praises of the new movie. Priscilla even was on hand for its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. Those who watched the movie in the south of France then gave it a 10-minute standing ovation as it ended.