Austin Butler calls ‘Elvis’ Oscar nomination ‘bittersweet’ after Lisa Marie Presley’s death

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Elvis star Austin Butler honors Lisa Marie Presley after first Oscar nomination. (Photo: Getty Images)

As Elvis star Austin Butler celebrates his first-ever Oscar nomination, honoring one of the women who made the film possible: Lisa Marie Presley. The 31-year-old actor, who was nominated for best actor on Tuesday for his portrayal of Elvis Presley, said: “It’s a bit of a bittersweet moment right now.” Elvis was also one of 10 films nominated for Best Picture.

“I think about how much I wish she was here right now to celebrate with me. It’s the same thing I feel about Elvis; I wish they could see these moments, you know? It’s just a little strange to celebrate at a time of such deep sorrow,” Butler shared when he called TODAY with Hoda and Jenna after learning of his nomination. “But I sort of see it as a way of honoring her. This is for her.’

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Lisa Marie died on January 12 of cardiac arrest, but an official cause of death has yet to be determined. The singer’s sudden passing came just two days after she attended the Golden Globe Awards, where Butler took home one of the best awards of the night.

“It was such a daunting undertaking to make this movie, and it was also a very long process. All I remember are those sleepless nights and all the fear and all the possibilities of how it could have gone wrong,” added Butler. TODAY. “Being recognized just feels really surreal and amazing.”

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Elvis director Baz Luhrmann spoke to TUSEN from Paris after the nominations were announced. He has been nominated as one of the biopic’s producers.

“We’ve had some really tough days,” Luhrmann said, “and it was good to just get away from it all and be here for it.”

Luhrmann and Butler were among the stars who attended Lisa Marie’s memorial service at Graceland with matriarch Priscilla Presley on Sunday. In her first post since confirming her daughter’s death, Priscilla thanked her supporters.

“It’s been a really hard time but just knowing your love is there makes a difference,” she tweeted Monday night.

Both Priscilla and Lisa Marie were critical in making the film. Butler spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about their impact and said no Oscar nominations if they “got to see the movie and then I saw them for the first time.”

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“It really puts things into perspective that I’m ultimately most grateful for that I was able to spend the time I had with Lisa Marie, and also the time I had to spend three years exploring her father’s life.” said Butler. “When I see moments like today or when I feel moments like today, I really need to take a moment to say, ‘Okay, this is something to be really thankful for.’ But nothing compares to that moment when I looked into her eyes after she saw the movie for the first time and she told me how much it meant to her. I will really cherish that for the rest of my life.’

MORE: Austin Butler responds Elvis presentation

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