Austin Butler plays Elvis Presley's guitar and performs iconic song at Graceland in "overwhelming" moment

16 June 2022, 10:58 | Updated: 16 June 2022, 11:36

In a snap shared by Riley Keough, the young actor can be seen strumming the star's acoustic guitar while sitting in Graceland's famous jungle room in Tennessee.
In a snap shared by Riley Keough, the young actor can be seen strumming the star's acoustic guitar while sitting in Graceland's famous jungle room in Tennessee. Picture: Alamy/Riley Keough

By Giorgina Hamilton

Austin Butler, who stars as Elvis Presley in The King's new biopic 'Elvis', joined the singer's family at the weekend to channel the star at his beloved home, Graceland.

In a photo shared by Elvis Presley's granddaughter, Riley Keough, the young actor can be seen strumming the star's acoustic guitar while sitting in Graceland's famous jungle room in Tennessee.

Austin Butler, 30, who is playing the lead role in Baz Luhrmann's film of The King's life, looks uncannily similar to the star in the 'special' moment posted by Riley.

In one clip posted on the official Elvis Instagram, Austin can be seen playing 'Can't Help Falling in Love' on the guitar:

Elvis's granddaughter went on to reveal that the guitar had only been played by a handful of people in its lifetime, one of them being Beatle, Sir Paul McCartney.

"It was such a special and overwhelming experience I haven't quite processed," the actress posted on her Instagram page about the visit to Graceland.

"One of many sweet things that happened while we were there - Austin played my grandfather's guitar in the house. This guitar hasn't been played by many people.

"I know it was tuned by @paulmccartney once, but as far as people sitting down and playing it @austinbutler is one of very few people aside from my grandfather."

Elvis stars Austin Butler and Tom Hanks, as his infamous manager Colonel Tom Parker. The film follows the life and career of Elvis from his early years as a child in Mississippi, to his rise as a rock icon and movie star.

Austin Butler, 30, who is playing the lead role in Baz Luhrmann's film of The King's life, looks uncannily similar to the star in the 'special' moment posted by Riley Keough.
Austin Butler, 30, who is playing the lead role in Baz Luhrmann's film of The King's life, looks uncannily similar to the star in the 'special' moment posted by Riley Keough. Picture: Instagram/Riley Keough
Elvis Presley pictured playing his acoustic guitar
Elvis Presley pictured playing his acoustic guitar. Picture: Alamy
Elvis Presley pictured in front of his Graceland estate in Tennessee, circa 1957.
Elvis Presley pictured in front of his Graceland estate in Tennessee, circa 1957. Picture: Getty

Austin Butler opened up about playing Elvis in the biopic and the deep affection he's garnered for the star.

In an interview with GQ, the actor revealed: "His mother passed away when he was 23, and my mum passed away when I was 23. So when I learned that, it was one of those things where I got chills, and I just thought, 'Okay, I can connect to that,'" he said, later adding, "I've never loved somebody I've never met more than Elvis."

Three generations of Elvis Presley's family reunited over the weekend at the premier of the new biopic Elvis, including Elvis's ex-wife Priscilla Presley, his daughter Lisa Marie Presley and her children, Riley Keough and twin daughters Harper Vivienne Ann Lockwood, and Finley Aaron Love Lockwood, 13.

Three generations of Elvis Presley's family reunited for the Elvis premiere. (Picture left, L to R): Riley Keough, Lisa Marie Presley and Pricilla Presley. (Pictured right): Elvis, Pricilla and daughter Lisa Marie c. 1970.
Three generations of Elvis Presley's family reunited for the Elvis premiere. (Picture left, L to R): Riley Keough, Lisa Marie Presley and Priscilla Presley. (Pictured right): Elvis, Priscilla and daughter Lisa Marie c. 1970. Picture: Rex Shutterstock/Alamy

Riley, a successful actor, said at the screening: "It was a very emotional experience. It's very intense to watch when it's your family.

"I started crying five minutes in and didn't stop. There's a lot of family trauma and generational trauma that started around then for our family."

"I felt honored they worked so hard to really get his essence, to feel his essence. Austin captured that so beautifully."