Contrary to Elvis, Tom Hanks confesses that he learned to say no

LOS ANGELES.- “Elvis”, the film about the king of “rock and roll” directed by Baz Luhrmann, is actually the story of his ambitious and aggressive manager, Tom Parker, who accompanied him all his life and is embodied in the new film by an unrecognizable Tom Hanks.

“I also had an agent who said he didn’t know anything and forced me to do what he wanted,” recalls the actor in an interview with Efe for the premiere, this Friday, of the long-awaited biographical film.

If the script of this ambitious film, directed by the creator of titles such as “Moulin Rouge” (2001) and “The Great Gatsby” (2013), is focused on something, it is the complicated relationship that the artist had with the businessman who discovered his talent and managed, between successes and errors, his astronomical career.

Something that Hanks (California, 1956), with a career spanning more than four decades, understands perfectly.

“It took me a long time to follow my instinct and know how to say no. At first, whenever someone offered me a job, I said yes to everything. They were asking me to work, what was I going to say?” he recalls.

“Until I got older and realized that I was harming myself and my artistic desires. Learning to say no was one of the hardest lessons of my life,” he adds.

As a result of that change came several of the roles -“Forrest Gump”, “Philadelphia” or “Saving Private Ryan”- that made Hanks one of the most beloved faces on the big screen.

“And that doesn’t mean you’re always successful. I’ve done a lot of bad movies, but as long as you make a decent one every three or four, you’re good at this game,” he explains.


His next attempt “in the game”, as the actor defines it, is the long-awaited feature film that recounts the ups and downs, successes and failures of Elvis Presley, an icon of the “American dream” and a global music star who, throughout his career , had a henchman who could take up to 50% of his winnings.

Because first and foremost, Presley’s biopic (played by Austin Butler) is the story of a star who never learned to say no.

Instead of starting with his birth or his childhood between Mississippi and Tennessee, the film starts with an unrecognizable Hanks in the role of Tom Parker, also known as the “Colonel”, a circus impresario who found in the young Presley, his velvety voice. and her movement of the hips, the definitive show to become gold.

Parker created Elvis Presley, the icon, and accompanied him throughout his journey. From 1955, when he played as an opening act in traveling shows, until 1977, when he died at the age of 42, exhausted by the rhythm of concerts that his representative hired and the musician never refused.

“I met with (Elvis’s wife) Priscilla and I thought she was going to tell me about a crooked thief manipulating Elvis, but she told me what a lovable man he was,” says Hanks.

Born in the Netherlands, an illegal immigrant in the US and fond of inventing stunts to appear in the media, Parker exploited Presley’s talent since, after the success of his first audition, he invited him to sign a contract for 200 concerts.

When his fame faded, the manager took the artist to Hollywood to shoot some thirty serial-produced films; and after burning his appeal on the big screen, she took him to Las Vegas to star in a regular show that lasted for six years during which Presley became bankrupt and developed a drug addiction.

“He fought for his nail business. I don’t think it was easy to negotiate with him,” the actor boasts.

There were stones on the road. The duo lost millions of dollars in royalties, because Parker recommended that Presley not enter the authors’ entities. He, too, turned down several world tours, while The Beatles and The Rolling Stones globalized pop music to every corner of the planet.

“He was a man who did great things for the right reasons and made great mistakes for the right reasons. That’s fascinating,” says the actor. “I wasn’t interested in playing a villain.”

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