Austin Butler says he has complex emotions about his first Oscar nomination in the wake of Lisa Marie Presley’s death.
During a phone interview on TODAY with Hoda & Jenna Jan. 24, Butler, who received a best actor nom for his role in 2022's "Elvis" biopic, reflected on receiving the exciting news during a time of mourning.
“It’s sort of a bittersweet moment right now because I think of how much I wish she was here right now to get to celebrate with me,” Butler mentioned.
He also said he is "still processing" his nomination and shared his sadness that Presley was not around to witness the film's continued success.
“It’s the same thing I’d say with Elvis, I wish that they could see these moments,” Butler continued. “It’s just sort of strange to celebrate at a time of such deep grief. … I sort of think of it as a way to honor her, and this is for her, you know?”
Presley died at age 54 on Jan. 12 after experiencing a cardiac arrest.
Butler, 31, honored her memory in a statement to NBC News the following day.
“My heart is completely shattered for Riley, Finley, Harper and Priscilla at the tragic and unexpected loss of Lisa Marie,” Butler said, referring to Presley’s children and mother. “I am eternally grateful for the time I was lucky enough to be near her bright light and will forever cherish the quiet moments we shared.”
Butler seemed to form a special bond with the Presley family while making “Elvis,” and Lisa Marie Presley had nothing but glowing praise for Butler’s portrayal of her late father.
“Austin Butler channeled and embodied my father’s heart and soul beautifully,” she wrote on Instagram in May 2022. "In my humble opinion, his performance is unprecedented and FINALLY done accurately and respectfully (If he doesn’t get an Oscar for this, I will eat my own foot, haha.)”
Presley also cheered on Butler at the Golden Globes on Jan. 10, just a few days before her death.
“I really didn’t know what to do with myself after I saw it,” the late singer-songwriter told Entertainment Tonight on the red carpet. “I had to take, like, five days to process it because it was so incredible and so spot on and just so authentic that, yeah, I can’t even describe what it meant.”