Sofia Coppola's intimate new drama Priscilla (in theaters Nov. 3) chronicles the famous pair's courtship and eventual marriage, stretching from their first meeting in 1959 to their eventual separation in the early 1970s. (The two met when Priscilla was a 14-year-old high school student living in West Germany, and Elvis was a 24-year-old U.S. soldier stationed there.) Coppola, Spaeny, and Elordi sat down for EW's Around the Table video series, where they revealed some of the invaluable insight Priscilla gave them — from memories of how she stopped to put on fake eyelashes while in labor with her first child to how Elvis preferred his breakfast.
"Priscilla told us that Elvis liked really burned bacon," Coppola explains.
"I averaged like a pound of bacon a day," Elordi adds with a laugh. "It's not that noticeable because I'm quite long. But I was the biggest I've ever been."
The King of Rock & Roll has been portrayed countless times across pop culture, but Priscilla takes a deep dive into his relationship with his ex-wife, shining light on some of the lesser-known — and more troubling — elements of their relationship. Coppola first picked up Presley's memoir Elvis & Me during the early days of the pandemic, and she found herself fascinated by Priscilla's candor.
"I was really surprised because I realized how little we know about her," Coppola says. "They're such a mythic, famous couple — Elvis and Priscilla — but when I read her story, I had no idea she was going to high school while she was living in Graceland. I was really impressed with how she really reveals what their life was like, what her experience was growing up in such an over-the-top setting. Also, I was surprised with how universal it was [and] how relatable it was."
Coppola, Spaeny, and Elordi also had access to Presley home movies and photographs, which they say helped them go behind the walls of Graceland and understand the real people living within.
"Probably the most helpful part was ignoring the mythology and trying to find out where the real person lies in that," Elordi explains. "We had the freedom of going to a place where he wasn't so well documented, behind closed doors, so I could play with it a little bit and try to make it a bit more grounded and attempt to make it sound more human."
Ken Woroner/A24 Jacob Elordi and Cailee Spaeny in 'Priscilla'
That attention to detail also extended to the sets. Coppola explains that production designer Tamara Deverell rebuilt parts of Graceland on a soundstage, using the house's original plans and blueprints to meticulously recreate entire rooms. The only tweak was that Priscilla had to raise the ceilings to account for Elordi's height. "We had tons of meetings [about] shag carpet and drapes," Coppola says. "And Elvis loves animal figurines."
"It's such a gift as an actor to be able to walk into a set that's so immersive, and everywhere you turn there's something tangible," Spaeny adds. "It almost felt like you were walking into a pastry or a cake."
"Yeah, the living room felt like a wedding cake," Coppola says. "That was one of our references."
Watch the full conversation with Spaeny, Elordi, and Coppola above.
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