Eric Charbonneau/Shutterstock Austin Butler and Lisa Marie Presley
During a Monday appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Butler talked about his easy connection with the musician, who died on Jan. 12 at age 54, just days after she appeared with Butler to promote the film, Elvis.
“I first met Lisa when we screened the film at Graceland,” Butler told Fallon in a somber tone, in reference to the Memphis, Tennessee estate owned by Elvis Presley, Lisa Marie’s father. “I’ve never had an experience where I met somebody and felt an immediate depth of relationship with them.”
“She’s also — she’s a person who didn’t have anything to prove and wouldn’t open up to anybody and she opened up to me,” added Butler. “We got so close so fast and it’s just devastating.”
“It’s weird in moments like this because it’s so bittersweet,” Butler continued about the emotional contrast of having to promote the movie — for which he recently received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor — at the same time as mourning Lisa Marie.
“I mean, so much great stuff is happening, but I’m just devastated for her family. And for her to not be here celebrating with us, you know …” added Butler.
“I’m happy she got to see you,” host Jimmy Fallon said in reply.
“Yeah, I’m happy I got to be with her at the (Golden) Globes, I’ll never forget that for the rest of my life,” said Butler, who won best actor in a drama for his performance in Baz Luhrmann’s movie at the Jan. 10 award show.
Todd Owyoung/NBC via Getty Images
Speaking at a Golden Globes pre-party on Elvis’ actual birthday, Jan. 8., Lisa Marie said she was “overwhelmed” by the Elvis movie.
“I just want to thank you for coming,” Lisa Marie said alongside Butler, daughter Riley Keogh and Luhrmann.
“I’m so overwhelmed by this film and the effect that it’s had and what Baz has done, what Austin has done,” Lisa Marie added. “I’m so proud. And I know that my father would also be very proud. So, I want to thank you all for being here and I — I’m so overwhelmed with gratitude, so thank you.”
Just five days after that speech, on Jan. 13, her mother Priscilla Presley confirmed Lisa Marie’s death to PEOPLE in a statement.
“It is with a heavy heart that I must share the devastating news that my beautiful daughter Lisa Marie has left us,” said Priscilla, 77.
“She was the most passionate strong and loving woman I have ever known. We ask for privacy as we try to deal with this profound loss. Thank you for the love and prayers. At this time there will be no further comment.”
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Just a little over a week later, it was announced that Butler was nominated for his Oscar, and he called into Today with Hoda and Jenna shortly after hearing the news.
“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. It’s the same thing I feel with Elvis; I wish that they could see these moments, you know? It’s just sort of strange to celebrate at a time of such deep grief. But I sort of think of it as a way to honor her. This is for her.”
Getty; Theo Wargo/Getty Elvis Presley (L); Austin Butler
Later in Monday’s interview, Fallon, 48, prompted Butler about a story he previously told him about Lisa Marie showing her dad’s slippers at Graceland.
“I get goosebumps,” Butler said. “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 says, ‘I wanna show you something,’ so she took me up there. It was moments like that … up there, he was not Elvis, he was just ‘dad,’ you know?”
“So to hear those stories, yeah, I’ll treasure those forever.”