Austin Butler had some tough expectations to live up to when he signed on to portray Elvis Presley in the Baz Luhrmann biopic, not only from fans, but of course from Priscilla Presley and the rest of the singer's legacy, the late Lisa Marie Presley and Riley Keough.
The actor has been widely lauded for this portrayal as the late King of Rock in the critically-acclaimed movie, earning both a Golden Globe win and an Oscar nomination, but most importantly, the approval from Elvis' family.
As the Oscars approach, and so does a possible first-time win for the actor, Elvis' first granddaughter, Riley, revealed her tearful reaction to seeing her grandfather's life reenacted.
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During a recent appearance on Live! With Kelly and Ryan, she opened up about how emotional she was, for a week, after seeing the film.
"I think he was outstanding and incredible," she first maintained about Austin's portrayal, adding: "I couldn't have imagined anyone being able to pull off what he did in terms of embodying my grandfather."
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Recalling how much of an impact it had on her, she said: "It was really shocking and emotional. It totally blew me away."
The Presley family was by Austin's side during the premiere and press roll-out
"I was in tears for a week because of the film, but also because of his performance," she further confessed, noting that while Austin wasn't with her when she watched it, and they had yet to meet in person, she immediately texted him with her praise.
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The Golden Globe-winning actor also got approval from Priscilla herself, despite what Baz called an initial "cynical" reaction.
The actor has won a Golden Globe, BAFTA, and SAG Award so far for his performance
The director recalled to Entertainment Tonight: "I remember Priscilla said, 'I know I was hard on you,'" in an email she wrote to him. However, Austin proved more than capable of portraying Elvis accurately, and the Moulin Rouge director revealed that Priscilla maintained her husband would most certainly approve.
He said she told him: "Every wink, every move, if my husband was here he would say, 'Hot damn, you are me!'" Further, the Australia-native added: "She said, 'How did he know about Elvis' rage, his stillness, his inner life, his complex inner life?'" and: "Because that's not out there. That's not in a biography."
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