Priscilla's Cailee Spaeny opens up about 'incredible support' real-life Priscilla Presley gave her for lead role

Virgin Radio

10 Oct 2023, 16:31

Cailee Spaeny and Priscilla Presley

Credit: Getty

Priscilla star Cailee Spaeny has revealed how the real-life Priscilla Presley helped her prepare for her lead role.

Speaking exclusively with ahead of the BFI London Film Festival’s Headline Gala, the 25-year-old actress who stars as Priscilla in the Sofia Coppola film revealed how supportive her character's real-life counterpart had been.

“She gave me an incredible amount of support,” Cailee revealed. “She said that at any point I could call her - whether it was about the work or if I had anything to talk through emotionally.”

The movie Priscilla is based on Priscilla Presley’s 1985 memoir, Elvis and Me, which documented her relationship with the world-renowned American singer.

Cailee said Priscilla Presley, who was an executive producer of the A24 production, was “very gracious with her time.”

“This is a complicated, nuanced story that sort of sits in a grey area,” she continued. “But something that she felt like was important was that there was real love there.”

Those working on the film cared about representing Priscilla’s story respectfully. “[We] wanted to make sure that she felt protected, safe, and that it was in the right hands,” Cailee explained.

The actress, who won the Venice Film Festival's Volpi Cup award for Best Actress for her role, also said: “I think it was long overdue to tell her side [of the story].”

While Elvis’ story was recently the focus of Baz Luhrmann’s 2022 biographical film Elvis, in which Austin Butler starred as the famous singer, here it is Priscilla who is the focus of the narrative, which follows her relationship with the singer from age 14 to 27.

The movie was not allowed to use Elvis’ discography in the film after their request to do so was denied by Elvis Presley Enterprises, who own the artist’s back catalogue of music.

However, also speaking exclusively to at the LFF event on Monday night, the movie’s producer Lorenzo Mieli explained this apparent constraint ended up liberating the film’s creative team.

“I think it gave, in a way, a sort of freedom to the movie,” he said. “Because the movie’s not about the public Elvis that everyone knows, but it's another Elvis. The fact that you don't hear Elvis’ music, it's really probably even more consistent with the movie itself.”

Sofia Coppola's Priscilla is set to hit theatres in the UK on 26th December.