Austin Butler joins the list of nominees in the best actor category for this year's Academy Awards, alongside other first-timers Colin Farell and Brendan Fraser.
Austin Butler woke up on Tuesday morning with messages and missed calls flooding his phone with just one thing to announce to him- He had bagged his first best actor Oscar nomination for his Golden Globe-winning performance as the King of Rock 'n' Roll in Baz Luhrmann's biopic, Elvis. In an interview with USA Today, Bulter said, "I was trying to process it and trying to figure out if I was dreaming or not," Butler tells USA TODAY.
However, his joy quickly turned into a bittersweet moment as his career milestone had to be squared with the untimely passing of Lisa Marie Presley, Elvis' only child.
"It’s been a roller coaster these last couple of weeks, really high highs and these deep valleys of sorrow," says Butler. "A moment like this feels joyous but it also feels bittersweet, because I just wish Lisa Marie was here to celebrate with us right now.
"But, you know, it’s the same way I feel about my mom," adds Butler, whose mother died from cancer when he was 23, the same age Elvis lost his mother Gladys. "Days like today, you try and sit with the feeling of honoring them."
Butler put in years of work to deliver this role in the perfect way for a production that was repeatedly delayed due to the pandemic. Now he is a part of the nomination list with other extremely talented nominees like Colin Farell who has been nominated for The Banshees of Inisherin, Brendan Fraser nominated for The Whale, Bill Nighy nominated for Living and Paul Mescal nominated for Aftersun.
Butler mentioned in the same interview that he had seen all these movies and particularly loved All Quiet on the Western Front, which got nine Oscar nominations as did Banshees. Both of the productions came in second in terms of nomination after Everything Everywhere All at Once.
Bulter continues talking about how this is just a great way to honor Lisa Marie Presley.
"I’m so humbled and feel so privileged to be listed in the great actors in this category," says Butler. Winning would be "a beautiful way" of honoring her, but "just going on this journey at all has been the biggest privilege of my life."
Butler's nomination comes almost 2 weeks after Lisa Marie's passing with whom Bulter became pretty close during the shoot of the film. Lisa Marie Presley came out to support him and the film shortly before her death at the Golden Globes.