Austin Butler Tells Elvis Presley's Family 'I Love You Forever' While Accepting Best Actor Golden Globe

The actor took home the prize during the HFPA's 80th annual film and TV awards ceremony.

Austin Butler just won his first-ever Golden Globe during the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's 80th annual awards. The 31-year-old actor was recognized for his portrayal of Elvis Presley in the 2022 biopic Elvis, beating out Brendan Fraser (The Whale), Hugh Jackman (The Son), Bill Nighy (Living) and Jeremy Pope (The Inspection) in the Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama category. 

"Oh, man, all my words are leaving me. I just am so grateful right now. I'm in this room full of my heroes," Butler began. "... I cannot believe I'm here right now. I just want to thank the Hollywood Foreign Press for this honor. I also want to say to my fellow nominees, you have turned in the most beautiful, profound work and I am so honored and proud to be listed among you."

Butler noted that he owes his award to Elvis' director, Baz Luhrmann, whom he called "a bold, visionary filmmaker."

"[Luhrmann] allowed me the experience to take risks and I always knew I would be supported," he said. "I love you, Baz Luhrmann. Thank you for believing in me in those moments that I didn't even believe in myself. I'm so grateful to you."

Butler continued by thanking his co-star, "the greatest dance partner I could have ever hoped for, Mr. Tom Hanks." He also thanked Denzel Washington, who helped him land the role.

"Denzel, thank you for your kindness, thank you for your generosity in championing me when you did not have to," Butler said. "I am so grateful for all eternity to you."

Butler wrapped up his speech by thanking the Presley family, stating, "Thank you guys. Thank you for opening your hearts, your memories, your home to me. Lisa Marie, Priscilla, I love you forever."

"Lastly, Elvis Presley himself," Butler said, "you are an icon and a rebel and I love you so much."

The actor also made mention of his sister, Ashley, whom he previously revealed was going to be his special date for the night. "Ashley, I love you so much," he said during his speech. 

"She's my one and only sister, so it'll be nice to be with her," Butler told ET a few nights before while attending the 34th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala.

There, he also spoke about what it meant to portray Presley in Baz Luhrmann's take on the rocker's legendary life and career. "He was somebody who was so true to himself. It liberated a lot of people, even just audiences watching him," Butler said of the icon. "I know that was my experience playing him, it freed me in many ways. I'm very shy, so it forced me to get things out of me."

Elvis, meanwhile, was nominated for a total of three Golden Globes, with the film up for Best Motion Picture – Drama as well as Best Director. 

The actor was just one of several winners that were revealed live during the 2023 Golden Globes, which started airing on NBC and Peacock at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET on Tuesday. The three-hour event taking place at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, was hosted by comedian and Emmy winner Jerrod Carmichael while Henry Golding, Hilary Swank, Jennifer Coolidge, Regina Hall and Salma Hayek Pinault were among the star-studded presenters. 

 Stay tuned to for complete Golden Globes coverage, including this year's winners.