As the premiere of Baz Luhrman's highly-anticipated Elvis Presley biopic approaches, Austin Butler is undoubtedly the man of the hour and talk of the town.
The actor has been making waves left and right, red carpet after red carpet, and his latest promotional visit was to none other than Today studios, where he chatted with the one and only Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager.
Opening up to the co-hosts about his journey to embody the iconic singer and his efforts to portray him as accurately as possible, he also revealed a shocking – and heartbreaking – connection the actor and the rockstar have.
WATCH: The Elvis trailer
Jenna was the one to make the revelation, telling Austin: "One thing that you and Elvis have in common, a heartbreaking thing, is that you both lost your mothers at 23."
She went on to ask him: "How did that inspire you to get into this role?" which led him to explain how hard he found it at first to become Elvis rather than just an impersonation of him.
He detailed the pressure and distance he felt from the late star, saying: "It's that thing where when you first look at Elvis he feels so much larger than life, and you look at him like a god-like figure or a caricature of Elvis."
The heartbreaking revelation
Recalling some of the tapes he attempted to film of himself to share with his director, he admitted he wasn't satisfied, saying: "I fell into that, the first month when I was trying to work, where I'd tape myself and I watched it back and I just saw an impersonation, and I just couldn't send it to Baz."
However, everything changed when he learned about the connection they had over their moms' untimely death, and how being able to relate to him brought the larger than life icon back to Earth for him.
Austin has Priscilla Presley's seal of approval
"When I learned about his mom… and knowing that we were the exact same age, that just hit me. It was one of those things where the stars are aligning and that just became the most personal thing," he said.
Fans commended his vulnerability and commitment to the role, writing: "Austin is so talented and I’m sure made Elvis very proud!" and: "This kid's life is gonna change big time," as well as: "He's so talented! Can't wait to see Elvis!!"
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