Priscilla Presley Got Candid About ‘Elvis’ and the Scenes That Were Hard to Watch

Photo credit: Joe Maher - Getty Images
Photo credit: Joe Maher - Getty Images


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  • Priscilla Presley revealed the Elvis scenes she found most difficult to watch.

  • “That was hard because I lived it,” she recalled.

  • The raw biopic hit theaters in June.

It’s been 45 years since rock legend Elvis Presley died at age 42, and although his legacy is just as strong today—if not stronger—than it was then, his wife Priscilla Presley continues to make it her duty to fulfill the dreams he never lived out Earth-side. That’s why it was particularly difficult for the 77-year-old to watch the Austin Butler-led biopic, Elvis, because it served as a reminder that his time was cut short.

He wanted to do movies, serious movies,” she recently explained to Today. And, as portrayed in Elvis, his manager Colonel Parker (played by Tom Hanks), stood in the way of that. (Elvis did act in an array of feature films, most of which were romantic musicals centered around his songs, not the dramatic roles he hoped for.) “[Colonel] probably should have stayed a publicist,” Priscilla added. “He didn’t take Elvis where he wanted to be, and that was hard because I lived it.”

Watching actors recreate some of her and Elvis’ most emotional moments was a bit jarring, as it would be for anyone. “I lived the arguments that they had, I lived Elvis trying to explain he didn’t want to do the movies with all the girls and the beaches and everything, that he really wanted to do serious things,” she continued. “So living that, with him, and watching the movie, it brought back a lot of memories.”

Parker died in 1997, but Presley told Today that she, him, and Elvis were thankfully able to make amends prior to Parker’s death. “There was two Colonels. There was the Colonel who was the manager, and there was Colonel who was very very sweet and very very nice,” she explained.

Priscilla and Elvis divorced in 1972, four years before his death. But she never stopped loving him, which is why she remains the keeper of his legacy. “It’s a big responsibility, yes,” she told Today. “But I want to carry it out and give him the things he always wanted to do and wanted in his life.”

That includes his dream of singing with an orchestra—she made it happen by merging his recordings with the instrumental sounds of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on multiple albums, including If I Can Dream and The Wonder of You.

Overall, although Elvis was hard to watch at times, Priscilla loved the film. And she thinks the King himself would’ve approved, too.

“It was perfection,” she told Good Morning America in June. “This is a movie he really would have loved, showing who he was, what he was striving for, what his dreams were.”

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