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Golden Globe winner Austin Butler thanks Priscilla, Lisa Marie Presley as he accepts award: ‘Love you forever’

Austin Butler paid tribute to the King of Rock and Roll himself – and his family – while accepting his Golden Globe award for best performance by an actor in a motion picture – drama for his performance in “Elvis.”

The 31-year-old actor expressed his gratitude to Elvis as well as the late music icon’s ex-wife Priscilla Presley and their daughter Lisa Marie Presley, who were both in attendance at the 2023 awards ceremony in Los Angeles on Tuesday night.

“Oh man, all my words are leaving me! I just am so grateful right now, I’m in this room full of my heroes,” Butler said with a noticeable Southern drawl as he began his acceptance speech at the Beverly Hilton. 

He went on to praise a number of industry figures including his “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood” co-star Brad Pitt and director Quentin Tarantino.


“Brad, I love you,” Butler said. “Quentin, I printed out the Pulp Fiction script when I was 12. I cannot believe I’m here right now.”

The actor continued, “I just want to thank the Hollywood Foreign Press for this honor. I will also say to my fellow nominees, you have turned in the most beautiful, profound work, and I am so honored and proud to be listed among you.”

Butler was competing against a formidable group of nominees including Brendan Fraser (“The Whale”), Hugh Jackman (“The Son”), Jeremy Pope (“The Inspection”) and Bill Nighy (“Living”).

“The Carrie Diaries” alum also thanked “Elvis” director Baz Luhrmann, who was also nominated at the ceremony.

“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,” he said. “Thank you for believing in me in those moments that I didn’t even believe in myself. 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.”

Butler voiced his appreciation for Denzel Washington, who recommended him to Luhrmann after they worked together on the Broadway revival of “The Iceman Cometh.”

“Denzel, thank you for your kindness. Thank you for your generosity in championing me when you did not have to,” he said. “I’m so grateful for all eternity to you.”

Butler went on to thank the producers, the Warner Bros. studio and the Presley family. “”Thank you for opening your hearts, your memories, your home to me,” he said as the camera panned to Priscilla, 77, and Lisa Marie, 54.

“Lisa Marie, Priscilla, I love you forever,” Butler added.

Butler emotionally thanked his own family including his late mother Lori, who passed away from cancer in 2014. “I want to thank my mom who I know is smiling down right now,” he said. “Mama, I love you so much, thank you for sacrificing so much for me.”

“Lastly, Elvis Presley, himself, you were an icon and a rebel,” Butler concluded. “And I love you so much.”

After receiving his award, Butler told reporters backstage that while the Presley family didn’t give him much advice on playing the rock legend, he was most grateful for “a feeling of blessing,” which he added, “meant so much to me.”

He later told reporters that he feels “endlessly grateful” to the Presleys for “welcoming me into their family in such a beautiful way.”

“I just feel so endlessly grateful to them that they provided the space for me to somehow try to capture the essence of this man that meant so much to them and that they love so much,” Butler said.


On the red carpet ahead of the awards ceremony, Priscilla told Fox News Digital that she “loved” the movie which she described as “beyond amazing.”

While many social media users commented that Butler appeared to be channeling his character’s distinctive Southern twang during his acceptance speech, the Anaheim, California native said he didn’t make the connection.

“I didn’t even think about it,” he told reporters backstage. “I don’t think I sound like him still, but I guess I must, because I hear it all the time.”

Butler went on to say, “I often liken it to when somebody lives in another country for a long time. I had three years where that was my only focus, so I’m sure there’s pieces of him in my DNA and I will always be linked to him.”

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