Austin Butler took home Best Actor, Motion Picture Drama for Baz Luhrmann‘s Elvis, in which he played the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, and his acceptance speech left the late icon’s ex-wife, Priscilla Presley, and daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, in tears.
Eagle-eyed viewers honed in on 77-year-old Priscilla and 54-year-old Lisa Marie’s reaction when Butler told them he would “love [them] forever”, and noticed the mother-daughter duo were emotional, with Priscilla blinking back tears as Lisa Marie put her hands on her face.
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Butler, Priscilla and Lisa Marie grew close over the production of Elvis, with both Presleys, according to Butler, guiding him and sharing their stories about what Elvis was really like.
“I also want to thank our incredible producers and Warner Bros and the Presley family, thank you guys, thank you for opening your hearts, your memories, your home to me. Lisa Marie, Priscilla, I love you forever,” Butler said from the stage, with the camera panning to the Presley women, who both appeared to have broken down in tears.
Butler’s speech, however, has caught the attention of fans for a reason aside from the touching moment.
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The 31-year-old California-born star baffled viewers when he spoke in his ‘Elvis voice’, a decidedly different Memphis drawl he used for the film, which wrapped up production almost two years ago.
“I just want to thank the Hollywood Foreign Press for this honour,” Butler began his speech, before thanking his “mama”, at which point fans clocked that he wasn’t speaking in his regular accent.
”I also want to say to my fellow nominees, you have turned in the most beautiful profound work and I am so honoured and proud to be listed among you,” he continued, visibly getting emotional.
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“I owe this to a bold, visionary filmmaker who allowed me the experience to take risks and I always knew I would be supported. I love you, Baz Luhrmann, thank you for believing in me in those moments that I didn’t even believe in myself,” he continued.
”I’m so grateful to you I also want to thank my dance partner, the greatest dance partner I could have ever hoped for, Mr. Tom Hanks, thank you. I also got to thank Denzel Washington. Denzel, thank you for your kindness thank you for your generosity in championing me when you did not have to.”
Next, Butler thanked the Presleys, and then thanked his sister, Ashley Butler, who attended with him on the night, and his father, who was watching from home.
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“I want to thank my mum, who I know is smiling down right now,” he continued, paying tribute to Lori Butler who died in 2014. “Mama, I love you so much thank you for sacrificing so much for me.”
“And, lastly, Elvis Presley himself, you are an icon and a rebel. And I love you so much. Thank you. You are remembered and I will never forget, thank you!” he concluded.
Butler, however, neglected to mention his 21-year-old girlfriend Kaia Gerber, nor did he mention Australian actress Olivia DeJonge, 24, who played Priscilla Presley in the film and was rumoured to be dating Butler for much of 2020.
Aussies dominated the Golden Globes 2023 nominations, however, failed to clean up. Although, actress Cate Blanchett did win Best Actress, Motion Picture Drama for Tár.
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