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Priscilla Presley ‘got vocal’ about Elvis Presley movie over Austin Butler casting | Music | Entertainment


Elvis Presley was immortalised on the silver screen last year when Elvis hit cinemas. The stylised biopic came from Australian director Baz Luhrmann, who brought the movie to life with Austin Butler playing the King of Rock and Roll. But when the young American actor’s casting was announced, Priscilla Presley was not happy.

Priscilla knew Elvis for almost ten years before eventually marrying him on May 1, 1967.

They were together for just over six years, before eventually divorcing on October 9, 1973. But their relationship didn’t end there. They remained good friends and saw one another frequently as they co-parented their daughter, Lisa Marie Presley.

So when the almost unknown star Austin Butler was cast as Elvis, Priscilla made her opinions known.

Baz said: “I really mean this with great respect, because now we’re like family. But she got a little bit vocal about her doubts.”

She told him: “I don’t know. This film could be crazy. Baz can be wackadoo. And how can this skinny kid play Elvis?”

Baz admitted that he knew he was directing a movie that could be tough to digest.

“There were things that were going to be difficult for [people] to see about Elvis,” he explained. “But they were also going to see the humanity and true spirituality of him, which was the most important thing.”

He noted that Elvis was always going to be a real human being in his movie. He continued: “Elvis had become wallpaper. He was sort of a Halloween costume. But to his family, he was always a husband, a father, a grandfather and a person.”

On that, he admitted he was “not going to make the film unless he found someone who could play Elvis”. And, on that, he added: “I didn’t think I could.”

Baz went on to confess that Priscilla was not sure how the movie would turn out.

“[Priscilla] was quite cynical about how this young kid could, in fact, manifest her husband,” he recalled.”

But, once she saw the movie for the first time, she, of course, changed her mind. She was thrilled and wrote him a personal letter where she admitted she was “hard” on him.

“I won’t share all of it,” he said. But revealed she told him: “My whole life I’ve had to put up with people impersonating my husband, and I don’t know how that boy did it, but every move, every wink. … If my husband was here, he’d say: ‘Hot damn, you are me.'”

After Elvis hit cinemas, Priscilla Presley gushed about Austin Butler’s performance after watching it with Memphis Mafia member Jerry Schilling.

She said: “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.”

She added of Tom Hanks’ version of Colonel Tom Parker: “There was two sides to Colonel, Jerry and I witnessed both. The story, as we all know, does not have a happy ending. But I think you will understand a little bit more of Elvis’ journey, penned by a director who put his heart and soul and many hours into this film.”

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