Priscilla Presley praises Austin Butler in ‘Elvis’ biopic: ‘He had big shoes to fill'

She calls the actor portraying her ex-husband "outstanding"

Priscilla Presley, 76, was shown the Baz Luhrmann film 'Elvis' in a private screening with her late husband Elvis Presley's friend Jerry Schilling, and took to Facebook to share her review. AFP
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Priscilla Presley, the ex-wife of Elvis Presley, has shared her thoughts on Elvis, the forthcoming film about the life of her husband.

Directed by the Australian filmmaker Baz Luhrmann, the film retells the often-complex relationship between the singer and his manager, Colonel Tom Parker.

Priscilla, 76, was shown the film in a private screening with Elvis’s friend Jerry Schilling, and took to Facebook to share her review.

Austin Butler as Elvis Presley in the forthcoming film by Baz Lurhman. Photo: Warner Brothers

“This story is about Elvis and Colonel Parker’s relationship,” she posted. “It is a true story told brilliantly and creatively that only Baz, in his unique artistic way, could have delivered.”

The actor playing her ex-husband, Austin Butler, was singled out for praise, with Presley calling his performance “outstanding.”

“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.”

On Monday, Priscilla attended the 2022 Met Gala with members of the Elvis cast, posing on the red carpet with Butler.

Priscilla Presley attended the 2022 Met Gala with Austin Butler, who portrays her ex-husband in the Baz Luhrmann biopic 'Elvis'. AFP

Col Parker, played in the film by Tom Hanks, was a powerful force in Presley’s life. A musical entrepreneur, the self-styled “Colonel” was born in the Netherlands and entered the US illegally aged 20.

Despite managing the career of the-then most famous singer in the world, Parker never gained American citizenship, and remained an illegal immigrant throughout his life.

Of Hanks’s portrayal of the charismatic but difficult Parker, Priscilla wrote: “What a character he was. There was two sides to Colonel; Jerry and I witnessed both.”

Elvis and Priscilla first met in 1959 when she was only 14, and married in 1967 when she was 21. They welcomed their daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, in 1968. Priscilla left her husband in 1972 and the pair divorced in 1973.

Of watching her ex-husband's decline in Luhrmann's film, Priscilla wrote: "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."

Set to be released in the summer, Elvis is the latest offering by a director renowned for his theatrical films. He also directed The Great Gatsby, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Moulin Rouge in 2001, and Romeo and Juliet, in 1996.

Updated: May 03, 2022, 8:28 AM
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