“She sacrificed so much,” the 31-year-old said, “She quit her job to drive me to auditions, and drive me to acting class.”
There's not a day that goes by that Austin Butler doesn't think of his mother and everything she did for him. The Elvis star's mother, Lori, died from cancer in 2014 when he was 23 years old. She played a huge role in helping the now 31-year-old get into acting. “She sacrificed so much,” he told Willie Geist on Sunday Today.
Austin Butler opens up about how his mother inspired his acting journey. https://t.co/3jJU80WGBG— billboard (@billboard) February 16, 2023
The actor is now basking in the glory of his portrayal of Elvis Presley in the 2022 biopic Elvis winning praise from all over the world. He's already bagged several awards and is up for a best actor Academy Award for the same role in the Baz Luhrmann-directed film. He said he wouldn't be where he is today without his mother.
“She quit her job to drive me to auditions, and drive me to acting class. And she’d wait outside and then drive all the way back down to Orange County," he said adding that she would be "very proud" to see what he's achieved. “And also, when she was in high school she wanted to be an actor, so I think I’m sort of getting to live this life for both of us in that way,” Butler continued. “And she was my best friend. So I think she’d be happy.”
He even credits her with helping him get out of his shell. “When I look back at it, I was so shy in public, but then I would do anything to make my mom laugh,” he told Geist. After his mom passed away, Butler said he noticed that his “whole world sort of shifted.”
“I started looking at material that I was working with and just going, ‘This just feels so vapid right now. And is what I’m doing, does it matter at all?” he said. “I was having f***ing trouble finding joy in it.”
Earlier this year he recalled how he struggled to return to work while grieving his mother soon after her death. During The Hollywood Reporter's new Actors Roundtable discussion, he shared, "After my mom passed away, I went straight to New Zealand to start shooting a young-adult TV show," he continued, referencing Shannara Chronicles. "A lot of people enjoyed the show, and I had fun doing horseback riding and that sort of thing, but I'd go home and cry every night," he recalled. "I was dealing with grief, but it was also this feeling that I wasn't aligned with something that felt truly fulfilling," he added. But a few months later everything changed when his agent contacted him about Elvis. "I went in the room, and they gave me the job in the room. And that’s the moment that changed my career," he confessed.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Amy Sussman