Austin Butler is making his late-night show rounds as he collects awards and nominations for his acclaimed portrayal of Elvis Presley, but there’s one very important person missing from the celebrations: Lisa Marie Presley, who died earlier this month. And during his appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Monday (Jan. 30), the 31-year-old actor opened up about his connection to the only daughter of the late rock n’ roll legend.
“I’ve never had an experience where I met somebody and felt an immediate depth of relationship to them,” said Butler, who recently picked up a best actor Oscar nod for his starring role in Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis. “[Lisa Marie] 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.”
The Carrie Diaries alum went on to explain that though he and Lisa Marie didn’t cross paths until after Elvis wrapped — they first met at the film’s screening at Graceland — the two bonded instantly and attended the Golden Globes together just days before she died. That night, Butler took home the award for best actor in a motion picture, drama.
“We got so close so fast,” he said, recalling the moment Lisa Marie invited him to see Elvis’ bedroom and showed him The King’s slippers. “His bedroom is a place that most people never get to see. Up there, he’s not Elvis. He’s just dad. To hear those stories — I’ll treasure that forever.”
On the same day he and the rest of the world received word that he’d earned an Oscar nomination, Butler called in to the TODAY With Hoda & Jenna and spoke about his devastation that Lisa Marie isn’t here to help celebrate the honor. She died Jan. 12 after suffering a full cardiac arrest. The singer-songwriter was just 54 years old.
“It’s just devastating,” Butler added. “It’s weird in moments like this because it’s so bittersweet. So much great stuff is happening. I’m just devastated for her family and for her to not be here celebrating with us.
To get to be with her at the Golden Globes, I’ll never forget that for the rest of my life.”
Watch Austin Butler open up about Lisa Marie Presley on The Tonight Show above.