Austin Butler is reflecting on his deep and instant connection to Lisa Marie Presley. Speaking with Jimmy Fallon on Monday's The Tonight Show, the 31-year-old Elvis star opened up about his friendship with the late Lisa Marie.
"I first met Lisa when we screened the film at Graceland," Butler recalled. "And I've never had an experience where I met somebody and felt an immediate depth of relationship to them."
"She was a person who didn't really have anything to prove and wouldn't open up to everybody, and she just opened up to me," he added, somberly, "and we got so close, so fast. So, yeah, it's just devastating."
During that first meeting, Butler said that Lisa Marie took him on a tour of the iconic Graceland estate, and brought him to see Elvis' slippers and his actual bedroom.
"[I] get goosebumps," Butler said of the moment. "That was after we screened the film and the bedroom, you know, his bedroom is a place that most people never get to see. And she said, 'I want to show you something.' And she took me up there we just sat in his bedroom. And up there, he's not Elvis, he was just dad, you know?"
"And so, to hear those stories, I truly will treasure that forever," he added.
Butler stars as Lisa Marie's iconic father, Elvis Presley, in the Baz Luhrmann-directed biopic, and was recently nominated for an Oscar for his remarkable performance.
For Butler, the timing of the nomination is "bittersweet."
"It's weird in moments like this, because it's so bittersweet. I mean, so much great stuff is happening but it's really [sad]," he shared. "I'm just devastated for her family, and for her to not be here celebrating with us."
Butler did get a chance to celebrate the film's success with Lisa Marie at this year's Golden Globes, where he actually took home the award for Best Actor.
"Just to get to be with her at the Golden Globes, like, I'll never forget that for the rest of my life," Butler told Fallon.
Two days prior to the announcement of the 2023 Oscar nominations, Butler was one of many who attended Lisa Marie's memorial at Graceland. The memorial, which was live-streamed from the front lawn of the Graceland estate in Memphis, Tennessee, saw speeches from Lisa Marie's loved ones as well as a tribute to the late singer-songwriter.