Movies

How much do the Elvis cast look like their real-life counterparts?

Baz Luhrmann's 'Elvis' hits cinemas June 23.

Austin Butler as Elvis Presley

biopic is finally set to hit cinemas this week, and if you’ve ever seen any of the director’s films (such as Moulin Rouge!) you’ll know that we’re in for quite the spectacular cinematic experience.Baz Luhrmann’s highly-anticipated Elvis 

Starring Austin Butler as Elvis Presley, the flick will delve into the rock legend’s career and relationship with manager Colonel Tom Parker (played by Tom Hanks) while examining the cultural shift that took place across the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s.

Nabbing the role of the King of Rock and Roll himself, 30-year-old Austin Butler certainly had some big shoes to fill!

But it looks like his portrayal as Elvis has won the approval of his daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, who gushed over Austin’s performance.

Writing on Instagram last month, Lisa Marie said, “If Butler does not win an Oscar for the role, I will eat my own foot. You can feel and witness Baz’s pure love, care, and respect for my father throughout this beautiful film, and it is finally something that myself and my children and their children can be proud of forever.”

Tom Hanks as Colonel Tom Parker

Tom Hanks looked unrecognisable as Colonel Thomas Andrew Parker, the musical entrepreneur who was the manager of Elvis Presley.

“He was both a genius and a scoundrel,” Hanks said of his character in a virtual interview with The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.

“He was a very disciplined man, but also a guy who you might want to check your wallet to make sure you still have all those fives and 10s.”

Olivia DeJonge as Priscilla Presley

Olivia DeJonge, whom you may recognise from The Staircase, underwent a drastic transformation to portray the wife of the ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ singer, Priscilla Presley.

“It was about three and a half hours in the makeup chair every morning, so it was a long process,” DeJonge told ELLE Australia of playing the role of Elvis’ wife. 

“The hair was insane—it was hair upon hair, it felt like another head on top of my head. Putting on the big wig, the double-decker we liked to call her, it felt like such a transformation, so being able to step into that was very fun.”

Richard Roxburgh as Vernon Presley

Richard Roxburgh nabbed the role of Elvis’ father, Vernon Presley when Rufus Sewell withdrew from the project after it was shut down and subsequently delayed due to Tom Hanks contracting COVID-19.

Speaking of recasting the role, Baz Luhrmann said, “Vernon Presley was such an enigmatic character, so I called upon one of the great character actors and my dear friend, Richard Roxburgh.”

Helen Thomson as Gladys Presley

The role of the King’s beloved mother was originally set to be played by Maggie Gyllenhaal, who also had to bow out after production was delayed.

Speaking of the Presley matriarch, who died in 1958 at the age of 46, Maggie’s replacement, Helen Thomson said, “I think one of the things that I learned about her was that she was good fun.

“She was very kind, she was very generous. Whenever you came around she’d give you a Coke and some cookies or a sandwich, or something like that.

“But she also had a temper and apparently so did Elvis.”

Kelvin Harrison Jr as B.B. King

Taking on the role of legendary blues musician B.B. King, Kelvin Harrison Jr. revealed what he’s excited for audiences to see in the biopic.

“Just the music, and Austin’s portrayal of Elvis is pretty remarkable,” he told NME.

“I remember just sitting there watching him do it, and being uncomfortably blown away by how much he was Elvis. I was like, ‘this is bizarre’. But I’d never seen anything like that before, so it was really cool.”

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