Priscilla Presley raves about ‘ELVIS’ actor Austin Butler as movie heads to Cannes

Austin Butler as Elvis Presley in the 2022 film, ELVIS

During a recent personal appearance in Las Vegas, Priscilla Presley said that she watched a private screening of the new movie, ELVIS, due out in June. Director Baz Luhrmann wanted to be there when she watched the film for the first time. 

Instead, she chose to screen the movie with longtime friend of hers and close friend of Elvis, Jerry Schilling. Priscilla describes herself as being stunned by Austin Butler’s portrayal of her ex-husband. 

“Jerry and I sat there watching this kid,” Priscilla said. “I think it’s his first film role, and he must have spent the last year, every single minute, watching Elvis. He had him down like you cannot believe.”

“In the middle, I said to Jerry, ‘Wow, I can’t believe this,’” Presley said.

But Priscilla is mistaken about one thing – this is not Austin Butler’s first film role. The 30-year-old has been a working actor since the age of 15. He appeared in small roles on various TV shows. In 2013-2014, he appeared in the CW TV series, The Carrie Diaries, as Carrie’s love interest, Sebastian Kydd.

In 2018, Butler made his Broadway debut co-starring with Denzel Washington in The Iceman Cometh. His highest profile movie role to date was in Quentin Tarantino’s 2019 film, Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood, in the role of Tex Watson. 

Butler said that his role playing Elvis in the 2022 film is “truly the privilege of a lifetime.” 

While some Elvis fans have been puzzled by the official movie trailer seeing Tom Hanks speak with an accent in his portrayal as Colonel Parker, Priscilla had this to say: 
“Tom [Parker] didn’t have an accent. That was [Tom Hanks’] personal choice. But you don’t even think it’s Tom Hanks, so he did a good job.”

Director Baz Luhrmann asked Priscilla to attend the film’s premiere in Cannes in May, but she was hesitant. She told him she wanted to see the film first before she gave her endorsement. 

 “Three-fourths of the way into the film, I looked over at Jerry and said, ‘It looks like we’re going to Cannes.’”

Priscilla Presley and granddaughter Riley Keough in 2016.

Elvis and Priscilla’s granddaughter, Riley Keough, will also be at Cannes to support a different film. Keough started her own production company, Felix Culpa, in 2017 with friend and producer, Gina Gammell. Their film, Beast, which premiered at Sundance in January 2022, will be shown at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival.

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