make a biopic about Elvis Presley It is a task that surely many wanted to take on. But it was the Australian director Baz Luhrman (Moulin Rouge, The Great Gatsby) who risked this adventure and it did not go badly. The film has just been released in theaters and covers the life of Elvis from his childhood to his last days. In communication with Infobaethe director told us about the challenges of making this film with the jewel of the production, the actor Austin Butler.
“I wanted to make this film with the idea of show and business, to be able to achieve that balance and fit into the world. I think that now the world is more business and not so much soul”, he laments Luhrmann and adds: “Then this amazing Elvis story made me realize that there was another amazing character, Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks), who was also a genius and they built everything together but, I also saw how they destroyed each other. It’s like a Shakespearean play, a grand opera but contemporary.”
Regarding the role of Parker, the actor also referred Kelvin Harrison Jr. who in the film plays B.B.King and he was also talking alone with Infobae. “I think a lot of people didn’t even know who Colonel Parker was or the relationship between them.”, comments the actor who gives life to one of Elvis’s most endearing friends. “In my mind I only imagined Elvis as a great icon, that is, in my mind I only imagined that he was constantly successful and that he always showed himself as a winner. I didn’t know that he had worked so hard in Vegas or that he had been forced for that Christmas special. He didn’t know that he wanted to be a movie star. I think this movie shows those little things that humanize him in a way that we never saw before and we can empathize more and we get to have a different image of that man that we love so much. and it is very sad too but we celebrate it at the end”, he analyzes harrison.
But it is also very showy how austin butler kept the role of Presley, since many wanted to do this biopic and the casting was very extensive.
-How was the Austin Butler audition and what did Denzel Washington tell you about him?
Luhrmann: It is true, Denzel called me and said: “There is a young actor who is going to see you and you will not believe it, it is worth it” and he was right. But I also saw a video he sent me that didn’t look like an audition. He was a young man in a bathrobe singing Unchained Melody and crying. But he had to do with a nightmare that he himself was going through because he lost her mom at the same age that Elvis lost her and that was very honest. From that moment we were working for three years and he never stopped being Elvis. Beneath the suit he found the true heart of Elvis.
Apart from B.B.King, Elvis He had great influences in his career, such as Sister Rosetta Tharpe (interpreted by Yawl) Y Little Richard (on the skin of Alton Mason). Both interpreters also spoke with Infobae and they told how their characters bonded with Presley.
Yawl: I am the antithesis of Colonel Parker. Sister Rosetta is the creator of rock and roll, not many people know it, but I’m here to let the world know. So, she is the first person to use that distortion, that sound of the genre that you know. She was a very advanced person for the time she was living. And Elvis wanted to be her.
Mason: For me, my character is the one who rekindles Elvis’s inner fire, the one who inspires him when he’s in a place of pressure and losing himself in a world of obligation. Elvis returns to Beale Street where he is familiar with that soul, that spirit and that fire with which he lived in his childhood and youth.