Lisa Marie Presley praises Austin Butler's performance in Elvis biopic: 'Absolutely exquisite'
Lisa Marie Presley called Butler's portrayal of her father "absolutely exquisite" in an Instagram post shared Saturday, adding that it breaks her heart that her late son, Benjamin Keough, isn't alive to see the the film. (Keough died by suicide in July 2020 at the age of 27.)
"I haven't posted in quite some time because there really isn't much to say, as I am and will forever be mourning the loss of my son," Presley began her post. "Navigating through this hideous grief that absolutely destroyed and shattered my heart and my soul into almost nothing has swallowed me whole."
She continued, "However, that being said, I do want to take a moment to let you know that I have seen Baz Luhrmann's movie Elvis twice now, and let me tell you that it is nothing short of spectacular. Absolutely exquisite." Presley said Butler "channeled and embodied my father's heart and soul beautifully," heralding his performance as "done accurately and respectfully."
If Butler does not win an Oscar for the role, Presley said, "I will eat my own foot." She continued, "You can feel and witness Baz's pure love, care, and respect for my father throughout this beautiful film, and it is finally something that myself and my children and their children can be proud of forever... It breaks my heart that my son isn't here to see it. He would have absolutely loved it as well."
Presley continued, "I can't tell you enough how much I love this film and I hope you love it too. Baz, your utter genius combined with your love and respect for my father and this project is just so beautiful and so inspiring. I know I'm being repetitive, but I don't care. Thank you for setting the record straight in such a deeply profound and artistic way."
Out June 24, Elvis chronicles the musician's rise to fame in the 1950s and his complex relationship with his manager, Colonel Tom Parker (played by Tom Hanks). Olivia DeJonge, Dacre Montgomery, and Maggie Gyllenhaal also star opposite Butler and Hanks. The film has also received praise from the rock & roll legend's ex-wife (and mother of Lisa Marie) Priscilla Presley, who said it "took me a few days to overcome the emotions."
Luhrmann similarly praised Butler's performance in a recent interview with EW, sharing that the actor "lived Elvis." He said, "I received this videotape of this young man in a flood of tears playing 'Unchained Melody,' and I thought, 'Wow, what is that? How is that happening?'" he recalled. Luhrmann soon received a cold call from none other than Denzel Washington, who starred opposite Butler on Broadway.
"I did not know Denzel," Luhrmann explained. "And he said, 'I've just worked with this guy on stage. I've never seen a work ethic like it.' And I'm like, 'Okay, I must see him.' Honestly, I put him through the ringer, but he lived Elvis. What he's managed to do is not do an impersonation, but to live Elvis, to the extent that he's humanized him.
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