The Once Upon a Time in Hollywood star, 30, hit the red carpet on Monday, May 2, in an all-black, rock and roll-inspired ensemble along with Elvis’ signature pompadour hairstyle. He was accompanied up the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City by several of his castmates, including Olivia DeJonge and Alton Mason, and director Baz Luhrmann. The group were joined by Kacey Musgraves, who recorded a special cover of “Can’t Help Falling in Love” for the movie, and Priscilla, 76.
The Elvis Presley Enterprises co-founder praised both Butler and the film while speaking with La La Anthony at the gala.
On Saturday, April 29, Presley gushed that the Carrie Diaries alum is “outstanding” in the role of her late ex-husband. “For those curious about the new film ELVIS … the director, provided a private screening for me and [Elvis’ friend] Jerry Schilling at Warner studios recently. This story is about Elvis and [manager] Colonel Parker’s relationship. It is a true story told brilliantly and creatively that only Baz, in his unique artistic way, could have delivered,” she wrote via Facebook. “Austin Butler, who played Elvis is outstanding.”
She continued: “Halfway through the film Jerry and I looked at each other and said WOW!!! Bravo to him … he knew he had big shoes to fill. He was extremely nervous playing this part. I can only imagine.”
Butler has been open about spoken about his intense preparation for Elvis and the pressures of playing the King of Rock and Roll on the big screen. “When I began the process, I set out to get my voice to be identical. That instills fear. So that got the fire burning. For a year before we started shooting, I was doing voice coaching,” the California native told The Hollywood Reporter in February. “I watched as much as I could, over and over. I feel such a responsibility to Elvis and to Priscilla and [daughter] Lisa Marie, and all the people around the world who love him so much.”
Last month, he told Vogue that his ex-girlfriend Vanessa Hudgens actually predicted that he would play Elvis Presley one day. “I was actually driving up through Griffith Park and Elvis’s ‘Blue Christmas’ came on. I was singing along with it when my friend had kind of an epiphany: ‘You need to play Elvis,’” he said, confirming that the friend in question was the High School Musical star, 33.
Hudgens was also in attendance at the Met Gala on Monday, hosting the Vogue live stream alongside Hamish Bowles. The two didn’t interact on the red carpet, but Butler did pose with his current girlfriend, Kaia Gerber. He was first linked to the 20-year-old model in December 2021. “They are low-key dating. It’s still very new,” a source told Us Weekly exclusively at the time. The couple seemingly confirmed their romance in March, when they were photographed walking arm-in-arm in Los Angeles.
Hudgens, for her part, has moved on with baseball player Cole Tucker.