Priscilla Presley was blown away by Austin Butler’s performance of her late ex-husband Elvis Presley in the new Baz Luhrmann film “Elvis.”
“Extra’s” Rachel Lindsay spoke with Priscilla at a special ceremony at TLC Chinese Theater on Tuesday, where the family matriarch, her daughter Lisa Marie and granddaughter Riley Keogh put their handprints and footprints in cement.
Presley confessed she had some reservations about the film, explaining, “I didn’t know what to expect. Baz lives in his world and it could go either way. I was very nervous about it to be honest, because I thought, ‘Oh, my God, what is he going to do to this film?’ But then again, there is a part of Baz that I love. He’s unique, he knows what he likes and wants.”
She went on, “After I saw the movie it was very emotional, my daughter felt the same way. Only because he got Elvis to a T, I mean to a T. It is unbelievable what this kid did, Austin Butler. He spent two years studying about Elvis, so that was like a shock to watch. Even some of the songs. [A talent manager who worked with Elvis] Jerry Schilling sat next to me, we had a private screening, and I said, ‘Is that Elvis or is that Austin?’ and he goes, ‘No, that’s Elvis.’ And then I go, ‘Are you sure?’ and then about a minute later he goes, ‘That’s Austin.’ That’s how amazing he is.”
Lisa Marie and Riley were equally blown away by Butler’s performance, telling Rachel in a separate interview they feel he deserves an Oscar nomination. Riley insisted, “One hundred percent.” Lisa Marie agreed, “A thousand percent… I mean, truly.”
She continued, “You know, I’m a bit biased, but absolutely, 100 percent… I can look at it objectively as well, sure. I think that he did such an incredible job.”
Riley gushed over Austin, saying, “It’s incredible what he did. You know, just on a performance level… The mimicry, but also just, like, embodying him in that way, especially. I mean, the whole thing, but we watched it again last night and the older stages of his life, what he was able to do… You don’t see actors commit in that way… I really hope that he gets recognized for that. I mean, it’s mind-blowing.”
“Elvis” is in theaters June 24.