Austin Butler reflects on ‘bittersweet’ BAFTA awards win for Elvis after Lisa Marie Presley’s death

Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis biopic took home four awards at the BAFTAs in London.

These included Casting, Make Up and Hair, as well as Costume Design for Catherine Martin and one for Leading Actor, Austin Butler.

The actor, who also picked up a Golden Globe for his work as The King, told press including MarkMeets Celebrity backstage at Royal Albert Hall his win was a “bittersweet” one after the recent death of Elvis’s daughter Lisa Marie Presley though many fans rage as Austin Butler wins over Colin Farrell

“Well, it’s been a really unimaginably tragic time and … grief is a long process,” Butler said.

“I feel honoured to to have been welcomed into the family and it’s a bittersweet time.”

During his acceptance speech he also gave a shout out to Lisa Marie and her mother, Priscilla Presley.

“I want to thank the Presley family – I cannot thank you enough for your love and for sharing with me who Elvis truly was. I hope I’ve made you proud.”

Backstage, after his win, Butler admitted he had plenty of ‘pinch me’ moments on set and said he misses playing Elvis Presley.

“I miss it a lot. I miss that experience [but] I don’t miss the terror that I felt every day,” he laughed.

“But the elation that you feel with that and I miss the people that I got to make the film with, they became completely like family to me.”

One of those members of the crew who became like family was his movement coach Polly Bennett, who Butler took as his plus one to the BAFTAs.

“There was hardly anyone that was by my side more than Polly was,” the actor said.

“She was the person that if I couldn’t sleep at three in the morning and I was obsessing about this, you know, one performance or you know, I just had to sleep so I watched a bit of footage and I called Polly and she would always be there, and so she was my rock during that time.

“We were also in Australia for a long, long time and I was there for over a year and a half and so we became a family.

“I can’t quantify how much that she actually did, I couldn’t have done it without her.”

The Elvis lead was nominated against Colin Farrell, who was favourite to take home the prize.

Also in the category was tough opposition from Brendan Fraser for The Whale, Paul Mescal for Aftersun, Bill Nighy for Living, and Daryl McCormack for Good Luck To You, Leo Grande.

But, it was the biopic star who came out on top, meaning Farrell still hasn’t won a Bafta in his 25-year career.

He was initially recognised for his performance in The Banshees Of Inisherin, which earned 10 nominations tonight and ended up winning four.

‘Colin Farrell is still best actor in my eyes’, one person tweeted.

Another wrote: ‘Colin Farrell is robbed once again’.

American Denise Chamian and Australian Nikki Barrett who both took home the Best Casting BAFTA Award for their work on Elvis said they spotted Butler’s star quality early on but said his performance was testament to Luhrmann and Martin.

“There were very few people that have just his star quality, I would say, combined with his acting talent and then the fact that he was also able to sing,” Chamian said backstage after her win.

“We did a worldwide search and we saw, you know, hundreds of people for the role, but to me … there was just something about his voice quality and the way he behaved with the camera that made it pretty obvious how talented he was.”

Barrett added: “The fact that Baz and Catherine and that whole production, it has an incredible way of kind of wrapping themselves around actors and supporting them and lifting them and giving them every opportunity.

“So it’s like starting with an amazing actor and then just giving him all the support he needed to get through it.”

It was something Butler acknowledged in his speech, thanking the visionary director.

“Of course, I want to thank Mr. Baz Luhrmann, this film would not have been possible without you. Your vision, your dedication, your commitment every step of the way.”

Butler will now compete for an Best Actor Oscar on March 12, going up against Brendan Fraser (The Whale), Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin), Bill Nighy (Living) and Paul Mescal (Aftersun) in his category.

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