Austin Butler Recalls 'Immediate' Connection With Lisa Marie Presley

Mourning his friend. Austin Butler opened up about his relationship with Lisa Marie Presley after playing her father, Elvis Presley, in Elvis.

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“I first met Lisa when we screened the film at Graceland,” the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood actor, 31, said during a Monday, January 30, appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. “I’ve never had an experience where I met somebody and felt an immediate depth of relationship to them.”

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Butler noted that Lisa Marie could be reserved when meeting new people, but that wasn’t the case when they first connected. “She was a person who didn’t really have anything to prove and wouldn’t open up to everybody, and she just opened up to me,” the California native explained. “We got so close so fast. It’s just devastating.”

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The Shannara Chronicles alum went on to say that it’s “bittersweet” to be getting so much recognition for his role in Elvis while mourning Lisa Marie. The former Disney star earned an Oscar nomination for the role earlier this month. “So much great stuff is happening, but I’m just devastated for her family and for her to not be here celebrating with us,” he told host Jimmy Fallon.

Lisa Marie died on January 12, hours after Us Weekly confirmed she had been rushed to the hospital after going into cardiac arrest. She was 54.

“It is with a heavy heart that I must share the devastating news that my beautiful daughter Lisa Marie has left us,” her mother, Priscilla Presley, said in a statement at the time. “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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The “Storm & Grace” songstress was the only child of Priscilla, 77, and Elvis, who died in 1977 at age 42. Days before her death, she attended the Golden Globes, where Butler took home a trophy for his performance in Elvis. On Monday, the Arrow alum said the evening was extraordinarily special.

“To get to be with her at the Golden Globes — I’ll never forget that for the rest of my life,” he said, adding that Lisa Marie showed him parts of Graceland that aren’t open to the public, including her father’s bedroom. “Up there, he’s not Elvis. He was just dad. To hear those stories, I’ll treasure that forever.”

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