Austin Butler was in for the surprise of his life when he was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance as Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann's 2020 biopic on the life of the iconic singer. While many fans celebrated the news, it quickly became bittersweet with the realization that Lisa Marie Presley had passed away just weeks before her father's biopic received an Oscar nomination.
The film Elvis was released in June of 2022 after years of anticipation from fans around the world. Director Baz Luhrmann had a clear vision of what he wanted to bring to life on screen and went through an extensive casting process before deciding on Austin Butler as Elvis Presley. Production began in late 2019, and due to strict COVID-19 protocols, filming was delayed until August of 2020. Despite these difficulties, Luhrmann managed to capture some special moments between Elvis and Lisa Marie during production that helped solidify Butler's award-winning performance.
The news of Austin's well-deserved Oscar nomination came shortly after the death of Lisa Marie Presley, Elvis' only child, who passed away just weeks prior at age 54. In response to this bittersweet news, Austin gave a heartfelt speech honoring her legacy and thanking her for inspiring him throughout his journey with this role. "My overwhelming gratitude to the Presley family is immeasurable. You opened your arms to me and I will never forget it. No words can describe the profound impact you have had on me. This is a dream I will never forget," he shared with Billboard. "Three years ago, I got the role of a lifetime and have been living in a dream ever since. It has been my honor and privilege to take on the role of the icon, father, husband, and son – Elvis Presley. This was a labor of love for everyone involved," he said.
Baz Luhrmann's Elvis was nominated for 8 Oscars, including Best Actor and Best Picture, a true honor for the entire cast and crew. As far as Butler? The recent Golden Globe winner revealed to Good Morning America he feels like this is all a "dream" and that it's all "very surreal." So, make sure to tune into this year's 95th Academy Awards airing on March 13.