Priscilla Presley praises 'unbelievable' Austin Butler performance in Elvis movie

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Watch: Trailer for Austin Butler's performance in Elvis

Priscilla Presley has given effusive praise to actor Austin Butler for his "unbelievable" portrayal of her husband Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann's upcoming biopic.

The 30-year-old star, who played a Manson Family member in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, is taking on his first lead role in Elvis — with very big shoes to fill.

Read more: Actors who have played Elvis Presley

Priscilla, who watched an early screening of the film with long-time Elvis buddy Jerry Schilling, told the Mirror that Butler "did an amazing job" in the role.

"He must have spent the last year, every single day and every minute, watching Elvis, because he had him down like you cannot believe. I swear to you," she said.

Austin Butler has secured the blessing of Priscilla Presley for his portrayal of her husband Elvis Presley. (Warner Bros/United Archives/Getty)
Austin Butler has secured the blessing of Priscilla Presley for his portrayal of her husband Elvis Presley. (Warner Bros/United Archives/Getty)

Priscilla married Elvis in 1967 and divorced the singer in 1973, four years before his tragic death at the age of 42, and the couple shared a daughter together — singer-songwriter Lisa Marie Presley.

After seeing an exclusive preview of the movie, Priscilla has decided to travel to France for the film's world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, thanks largely to Butler's performance.

Read more: Priscilla Presley opens up about Benjamin Keough's death

She added: "His smirk, laugh, voice, movements – he has him down. I know there are a lot of impersonators. I do not know them, I’ve seen them and they are good. But Austin is unbelievable.”

The film also stars Tom Hanks as Elvis's entrepreneurial manager Colonel Tom Parker.

Priscilla Presley married Elvis in 1967. (Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Priscilla Presley married Elvis in 1967. (Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Priscilla cautioned that there might be some Elvis fans who dislike Moulin Rouge! director Luhrmann's film as he provides a "different take" on elements of the star's life and chooses to depict his tragic final moments.

She said: "The ending of the movie does show Elvis’ last moment. That was hard to watch. That was Baz’s choice.

Read more: Priscilla Presley recalls final conversation with Elvis

"Baz is a phenomenal storyteller and film-maker and has this visual creative eye. It is an amazing film."

Elvis will be shown for the first time later this month at the Cannes Film Festival and is due to be released into UK cinemas on 24 June.

Watch: Elvis cast attend Met Gala

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