Elvis Director on How Lisa Marie Presley Responded to Film: 'It Lifted Her Up'
Jesse Grant/The Hollywood Reporter via Getty Lisa Marie Presley and Baz Luhrmann in December
Baz Luhrmann says Elvis was a comfort for Lisa Marie Presley before her death at the age of 54.
At the AARP Movies for Grownups Awards last weekend, Luhrmann, 60, told Variety that Presley's death on Jan. 12 "was just shocking and then it was sad."
"There was beauty there, too. She loved Austin [Butler] so much," the director said of Lisa Marie and the bond she forged with Butler, 31, who portrayed her father Elvis Presley in the film.
"The film had lifted her up," Luhrmann added to the outlet. "I think the words are bittersweet and sad, but the film did lift her up."
Lisa Marie died just days after she, her mother Priscilla Presley, Luhrmann and Butler attended the 2023 Golden Globe Awards together, where the actor won best actor in a drama for his role as Presley. Butler has also since been nominated for an Academy Award for the movie, which he called "bittersweet" in the wake of Lisa Marie's death.
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Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic From L to R: Steve Binder, Harper Vivienne Ann Lockwood, Lisa Marie Presley, Baz Luhrmann, Priscilla Presley, Riley Keough, Austin Butler and Finley Aaron Love Lockwood
Luhrmann previously shared a tribute to Lisa Marie one day after her death on Instagram, which he posted alongside a photo of her and Butler laughing together.
"Over the last year, the entire Elvis movie family and I have felt the privilege of Lisa Marie's kind embrace," Luhrmann wrote. "Her sudden, shocking loss has devastated people all around the world. I know her fans everywhere join me in sharing prayers of love and support with her mother, Priscilla, and her wonderful daughters Riley, Finley and Harper."
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"Lisa Marie, we will miss your warmth, your smile, your love," he concluded.
During Butler's appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Monday, the actor recalled that he "never had an experience where I met somebody and felt an immediate depth of relationship with them" after he first met the musician.
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"She's also — she's a person who didn't have anything to prove and wouldn't open up to anybody and she opened up to me," added Butler. "We got so close so fast and it's just devastating."
"It's weird in moments like this because it's so bittersweet," Butler continued about the emotional contrast of having to promote the movie at the same time as mourning Lisa Marie.
"I mean, so much great stuff is happening, but I'm just devastated for her family. And for her to not be here celebrating with us, you know ..." added Butler.