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Elvis Presley’s only daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, has some thoughts about the upcoming biopic focusing on the late singer.
The 54-year-old sat down alongside her daughter Riley Keough for a special, “Exclusively Elvis: A Special Edition of 20/20,” which aired Tuesday night. The mother-daughter duo reflected on the upcoming Baz Luhrmann film “Elvis,” which stars Austin Butler as Lisa Marie’s father and Keough’s grandfather.
“It was such an emotional [experience],” Lisa Marie said in the rare interview. “Like Riley said, it just brings up such generational trauma in a good way.
“And Riley, five minutes in, was already like, ‘I’m done.’ She was already crying, and I was crying.”
Keough, an actress and filmmaker, said the story is “really intense.”
“As a film, it’s just an exceptional film,” said the 33-year-old.
Their reflections came days after “Good Morning America” aired an interview with Lisa Marie’s mother, Priscilla Presley. The late star’s ex-wife was joined by Olivia DeJonge, who plays her in the film.
“I’m sitting there watching this movie and going, ‘God, I wish he could see this,’” the 77-year-old said. “It was perfection.”
The duo then spoke about a moment in the film where Priscilla asks Presley to seek treatment for his “drug dependency.”
Priscilla said the scene brought back “memories.”
“It was getting more and more frightening as time went by where he just was like, rebelling,” Priscilla reflected.
She went on to praise Butler’s performance as Presley, who died in 1977 at age 42.
“Austin was just unbelievable,” said Priscilla. “As I was watching it, actually, I was going, ‘Wow, this is a movie that [Elvis] would have really loved.’ Showing who he was, what he was striving for, what his dreams were.”
Priscilla said that while it was “strange” to see someone portraying her, she was happy with DeJonge’s performance.
“I’m so happy that she was sensitive and that she was caring and that she was a little strong with him as well, and you know, I thought she did a really nice job,” said Priscilla. “I was pleasantly surprised.”
Butler, 30, proved to be the unlikely favorite to land the role of Presley over more established names like Harry Styles, Miles Teller and Ansel Elgort.
When “Elvis” opens in theaters Friday, it will resurrect one of the most iconic figures in American music in the biggest, most bedazzled film to ever try to capture the king of rock ‘n’ roll. And it will propel Butler, an Orange County, California, native best known for playing Tex Watson in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood,” onto a far bigger stage.
“It all feels sort of like this wonderful dream,” Butler said the morning after the film’s Cannes Film Festival premiere. “I have to take moments to take a deep breath and say, ‘This is real life.’”
Reviews have been largely positive for “Elvis,” but they’ve been glowing for Butler. The actor said he devoted two years of his life to the film, obsessively researching Presley and gradually transforming into him. Butler went through daily routines wondering how Presley did them. When the movie wrapped, Butler struggled to let go.
“Suddenly, it was me brushing my teeth, now it’s me doing these mundane things. It was a real existential crisis when I finished,” said Butler. “The next morning, I woke up, and I couldn’t walk. I thought my appendix burst. It was the most excruciating pain in my stomach, so they took me to the emergency room. It’s wild how your body can kind of hold on for the duration of doing something.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.